Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Common Stereotype

Watching Colin's interactions with others change over the past few years has gotten me thinking about some of the common stereotypes with those who have Down Syndrome.  Most people assume that because Colin has Down Syndrome (or really anyone with DS), he is going to be more likely to give hugs and kisses or to be touchy feel-y with those he comes across.  

One thing I have always loved about Colin is how loving he is at his very young age. However, he is at a developmental stage where he doesn't choose or seek out anyone and everyone to give hugs and kisses to. Even for Chris and I, he is not always so forthcoming with his kisses and he will stand there in this pose pointing at us saying "no kiss!" if he's not in the mood.  When asked to say hello or goodbye to people by giving hugs and/or kisses he will often oblige, but it really depends on what HE wants to do in that moment. There are lots of times in public, he is more drawn to certain types of people and will ask for hugs from complete strangers.  It's often funny/awkward to watch because people aren't always sure on how to handle this (particularly men).  To be honest, Chris and I don't necessarily always want Colin hugging random strangers that we don't know so we have been pushing him to shake hands to say hello more often (particularly with men).  

Snuggling Mommy post-tonsilectomy

One special quality about Colin though is his ability to recognize when someone isn't themselves, sad, unhappy, etc..  He is one of the most loving little people I've ever met.  Just yesterday, I had my tonsils taken out and when I got home, I hugged both of them and then went to lie down in bed.  Colin had a really hard time with being told he couldn't come in my room and get in bed with me.  He kept being drawn back to me, would sneak in the room and shut the door until someone came and found him.  Eventually I felt well enough to lie on the couch and that seemed to help him.  He even came to snuggle with me a few times (how could I say no to that!).  

They entertained themselves b/y digging through the coat closet the other day.  
I am thankful for the special kind of love we get from Colin but also grateful that all stereotypes don't necessarily apply.  While I wish sometimes he would be more forthcoming to friends and family (if he doesn't seem to be in the mood), I am glad he isn't always willing to dish it out to everyone and anyone without getting to know them first.

...and just something fun.  Colin's vocabulary is definitely improving and he is speaking in short phrases.  However, when he watches himself, he just starts talking even if you don't know what he's saying.  I particularly love the facial expressions.


Jenny said...

Oh my gosh, I love this kid, he's too cute! lol

Stephanie said...

Oh Gosh!!! Haven't been here in ages!! The kids are so big and beautiful!!!

Love the video!!!! Colin's facial expressions and hand gestures are priceless! Em does the same thing!