Raising a child with Down Syndrome can be difficult, and that’s not because of the child itself, but because of the people who don’t understand that being a bit different can be positive thing, and because of the people who judge your decision to give birth to someone who they believe doesn’t fit in with the society, and because of the people who stare at your child as though it’s something not worth loving. Parents of children with disabilities have it enough from the society that lacks empathy.
Pamela De Almeida is a mother of a child with Down Syndrome, and unfortunately she has experienced many unpleasant situations such as random people staring at her daughter.
She runs a blog called Slice of Life where she discusses the issues of staring at the special needs children and commenting their looks and their condition in front of their parents.
Recently, she shared with her readers a heartbreaking experience that was pretty upsetting.
“Two ladies sitting near us started to stare and whisper. This is a pretty frequent occurrence for us you see; because my daughter Sophia was born with Down Syndrome. I sat there and watched these two women crane their necks to get a better look at her; completely oblivious to the fact that I was staring right back. Today it bothered me. It really bothered me.”
As her anxiousness grew bigger, more people approached her daughter among which an older couple. Just when she thought how she couldn’t put up with the rude strangers any longer. the man got even closer and shook Sophia’s hand and then gave her a high five. Sophia felt really happy to be greeted that way and she couldn’t help but smile at the stranger.
The man felt the urge to share with Pamela a story he recently heard, but he feared he wouldn’t be able to finish it without choking up. Pamela became even more curious and assured the man that everything was going to be fine as he started talking. What he said left Pamela in tears, because she couldn’t recall the last time someone was so encouraging and supportive.
The story he heard on the news was about a mother in similar situation like Pamela. She gave birth to a child with severe disability and she was brave enough to be on the news defending her decision to keep the baby despite the doctors telling her to abort.
The men then proceeded saying “you can never know what a person is able to do unless you give them a chance” and congratulated Pamela on her choices telling her both she and her daughter were beautiful.
Used to receive negative comments by most of the people she met, having this man sharing those lovely words with her made her emotional. She started crying, but this time she shed tears of joy.
“He was the first complete stranger to recognize her WORTH. Her VALUE. Her BEAUTY. In a world where my daughter’s life is whispered about, where she is stared at, this man saw her IMPORTANCE. What a wonderful reminder that every human being, no matter how small, has true worth and value. Let’s encourage ourselves and those around us to recognize everyone’s unique beauty every day.”
Pamela knows one thing for sure, she will never stop believing in her daughter and she will never quit in her intentions to make people aware of the pain they cause by treating children with disabilities differently and by staring at them.