Kari Wagner-Peck’s 7-year-old son has something most other kids don’t -- an extra chromosome. He has Down syndrome, but until recently, he didn’t know it. Kari and her husband opted not to make it a big deal and make their son feel valued as a member of the family instead of for having “special needs.”
But the time had come to get the words out in the open, as Kari worried that her little boy would be clueless and possibly hurt if others tried to talk to him about it or he overheard something without understanding it. She told her son about his Down syndrome in the sweetest way possible.
Kari asked if he’d ever heard the words “Down syndrome,” but her son said no. After wondering how that was possible, she asked if he’d ever felt different from other people. He said no again.
She explained that he had an extra chromosome in his body, and seeing that he didn’t understand what that meant, she launched into what it meant for him personally.
See, Down syndrome gives you almond-shaped eyes and a terrifically adorable flat nose. And it gives you super powers. Some of your super powers are big love, photography, and ... um ... um ... farting. It also made you a little small, talking and being understood is hard for you right now and learning some things takes more work.
She saw that he understood this, but still didn’t have much of a reaction to it. So she continued.
"Not everyone sees your super power, so some people just see someone who needs help for some reason."
This piece of information resonates and my son starts laughing.
Laughing! I love it. What an awesome little kid, to laugh at the idea that he’d need special help from others because of his superpowers.
I have a feeling he’s going to be just fine in life -- Down syndrome and all.
Have you ever had to tell your child something about themselves that was difficult to get out?
Image via @Doug88888/Flickr