IF ISABEL RULED THE WORLD

three.jpg

Isabel is two!! And lucky for me, she’s my daughter. While looking at her this morning I started thinking about how she could rule the world. I thought about how fun her world would be to live in.. ( I was watching the news) And I began to laugh ~HOW FUN WOULD HER WORLD BE? So, me being me.. I googled.. “What if a person with Down Syndrome Ruled the World?”

Look what I found….

The following is an article By Dennis McGuire

What would happen if people with DS ruled the world?

If people with Down syndrome ruled the world:
Affection, hugging and caring for others would make a big comeback.

two.jpg

Despite the fact that my family was not terribly affectionate, I
have had a crash course in hugging at the Center. I am confident
that if people with Down syndrome ran the world, everyone would
become very accustomed to the joys of hugging.

Fortunately for me, I had a head start. My wife is a native of
Argentina, and I got some intense exposure to hugging when I landed
in her country and found there were 6000 members of her family
waiting to be hugged as we got off the plane.

All people would be encouraged to develop and use their gifts for
helping others.

In our world, too often people with Down syndrome are “DONE FOR” by
others, when in fact they are great givers. If they ran the world,
their ability to minister to others would not be wasted.

shes-cool-small.jpg

People would be refreshingly honest and genuine.

People with Down syndrome are nothing if not straightforward and
unpretentious. As the _expression_ goes, “what you see is what you
get.” When you say to people with Down syndrome, “You did a good
job,” most will answer simply and matter-of-factly, “Yes, I did.”

We believe, too, that a stuffy high society would probably not do
well in the world of Down syndrome.

However, we believe that BIG dress up dances would flourish.

People with Down syndrome love dressing up and dancing at big
shindigs. They have a ball, and …can they dance! (and by the way,
who needs a date… “Just dance”).

Most people we have met with Down syndrome also love weddings. This
should not be a big surprise. They love getting dressed up, being
with family and friends, having good food, and, of course, dancing
until the wee hours of the morning. (Many people love it so much,
they will chase the band down at the end of the night, begging them
to continue.) Perhaps, too, part of the reason they love weddings so
much is not just because of the food and dancing, but because in
many cases the rules against hugging are temporarily suspended. This
may give people a little piece of what I experienced in Argentina.
Whoa! Can you imagine what the world would be like with so much
affection unleashed?

People engaged in self talk would be considered thoughtful and
creative.

Self talk rooms would be reserved in offices and libraries
to encourage this practice. People with Down syndrome have a
reputation for “talking to themselves.” When conducted in a private
space, self talk serves many adaptive purposes. It is a wonderful
means to ponder ideas and to think out loud. It allows people to
review events that occurred in the course of their day. It allows
people to solve problems by talking themselves through tasks. It
allows them to plan for future situations. It is also helpful in
allowing people to express feelings and frustrations, particularly
if they have difficulty expressing their feelings to others. There
is even evidence that athletes who do not have Down syndrome use
self talk to motivate themselves. Certainly people without Down
syndrome talk to their computer (particularly when it crashes), and
likewise many people talk out loud when driving in Chicago. (Of
course they may also make odd gestures as well; not recommended if
long life is one of your ambitions.)

Order and Structure would rule

We have heard that many people with Down syndrome are stubborn and
compulsive. Now, I know what many of you are thinking…”Did you
really have to bring that up?” I’m sorry, but—we do. What we hear is
that quite a few people have nonsensical rituals and routines. They
can get stuck on behaviors that can drive family members a little
crazy. Despite the irritations, there are also many benefits to
these “obsessive compulsive tendencies.” We actually have termed
these tendencies “Grooves” because people tend to follow fairly set
patterns, or “grooves,” in their daily activities.

What are the benefits of Grooves? Many people with Down syndrome are
very careful with their appearance and grooming, which is especially
important since they often stand out because of their physical
features. Grooves also increase independence because most people are
able to complete home and work tasks reliably when these tasks are
part of their daily routine. (And while they are not fast … they
are very precise.) For many with Down syndrome, grooves serve as a
way to relax. Some people repeat a favorite activity in a quiet
space, such as writing, drawing, puzzles, needlepoint, etc. Grooves
also serve as a clear and unambiguous statement of choice (very
important for people with language limitations). This may even be a
way for teens with Down syndrome to define their own independence
without getting into the same rancorous conflicts with parents as
many other teens. So given what we know about people with Down
syndrome and grooves, how would they use this to run the world?

Here is how:

Schedules and calendars would be followed.

Trains & planes would run
on time.

Lunch would be at 12:00. Dinner at 6:00.

Work time would be work time.

img_0731.jpg

Vacation would be vacation.

pif-july-small.jpg

At the Center, our receptionist, Shirley, will often have people at
her desk pointing to the clock or their watches. Obviously, she
hears about it when we don’t take people back at their appointment
time, but she also found that some people refuse to go back
early: “Nope I am not going at 9:45, my appointment is at 10:00,”
nor does going over into the lunch period work. I am sure all of you
have similar stories.

But there is much, much more:

People would be expected to keep their promises.

Last minute changes would be strongly discouraged (if not considered rude and
offensive).

Places would be neat, clean, and organized (not just
bedrooms, but cities, countries, the whole world).

Lost and founds
would go out of business (even chaotic appearing rooms have their
own sense of order). The “grunge look” would be out, way out. “Prep”
(but not pretentious) would be very big.

In the world of Down Syndrome, there would be a great deal more
tolerance for:

Repeating the same phrase or question

Use of the terms “fun” and “cleaning” in the same sentence

Closing doors or cabinets that are left ajar (even in someone else’s
house)

Arranging things until they are “Just so.”

Despite their compulsions and grooves, people with Down syndrome
rarely have the really `bad habits’ that so many of us have. In
fact, out of approximately 3000 people we have seen at the clinic,
we have not seen any drug addicts or gamblers and just two
alcoholics and a very small number of smokers.

However, we think that pop may be a common addiction in the world of
Down syndrome, and of course some people are incurable savers and
hoarders of just about everything, but especially paper products and
writing utensils. Because of this, I could see maybe a Betty Ford
Center for pop addicts and extreme paper hoarding.

The words “hurry” and “fast” would be not be uttered in polite
society. “Plenty of time” would take their place. At the Center, we
frequently hear about pace, or how fast or slow people move. Quite
often these issues are discussed in disparaging terms by harried and
frustrated family members. In this world, people with Down syndrome
have a reputation for having two speeds, slow and slower.

Therefore, in the world of Down Syndrome:

img_0888-small.jpg

Our current mode of dealing with time, also known as the “Rat race”
(or rushing around like our hair is on fire), would not survive.

Here and now would command a great deal more respect than it
currently does. Stopping to smell the roses would not be just a
cliché. Work would be revered, no matter what kind, from doing
dishes to rocket science. We have consistently seen respect and
devotion to work by people with Down syndrome. This is such a strong
characteristic for many that they don’t want to stay home from work
even if feeling ill. Perhaps more importantly, they value any kind
of work.

Therefore, if people with Down syndrome ran the world:

Speed would be far less important than doing the job right. Work
would be everyone’s right, not a privilege.

However, we think there would probably be no work conducted during
the time that “Wheel of Fortune” is on TV.

All instruction would include pictures to aid visual learners.

Many studies have shown that individuals with Down syndrome have
deficits in auditory memory. If they cannot remember verbal
instruction, they may be considered oppositional or less competent
in school, home, or work environments. Despite this, they have
exceptional visual memory-they are visual learners. If they see
something once, they can usually repeat it. They also have an
exceptional memory for facts and figures of interest (favorite
celebrities, movies, music, sports teams, etc).

If people with Down syndrome ran the world:

School and work sites would have picture, written, and verbal
instructions to accommodate different learning styles. Counselors
would be able to use visual mediums to help solve problems.

What About News? If people with Down syndrome ran the world:Weather would be the only essential news item

News would be more local (“A new McDonalds just opened up,” or “A
dance tonight,” etc.). After all, what is more important than that?
What About Bad News?

If people with Down syndrome ran the world, would there be wars or
murders? We don’t think so!
There may be too many McDonalds but definitely not the wars or
murders we have in our “civilized societies.”

What About “Behaviors”… …and terms such as (the ever
popular) “Incident reports,” “Outbursts,” “Unprovoked outbursts”
(one of our all time favorites), and of course “Non compliance”?
We believe that in the world of Down Syndrome, anyone
writing “incident reports” would have to go through sensitivity
training, which would consist of someone following them around
writing down everything they did wrong.

Brian Chicoine and I both figure that we would have been on major
psychotropic medications long ago if we had people writing up
incident reports on us.

We have found that most people with Down syndrome are very sensitive
to expressions of anger by others. I imagine they would do all they
could to help reduce and solve conflicts between people.

Therefore if people with DS ran the world:

Anger would only be allowed in special sound proof rooms. Trained
negotiators would be available to everyone to help deal with any
conflicts.

The word “non compliant” would not be used (except as a very rude
comment). It would be replaced by “assertive,” as in “he or she is
being assertive today.”

What About Self _expression_? Art and music appreciation would be BIG. People would have time to
work on paintings and other art projects. Acting and theatrical arts
would be encouraged for all.

DancingYou probably would not hear a great deal about exercise, but you may
hear a phrase like, “Dancing tonight … absolutely.” The
President’s commission on physical fitness would probably recommend
dancing at least 3 times per week. People would be encouraged to get
married several times to have more weddings for more music and
dancing. Richard Simmons and John Travolta would be national heroes.

Music
Elvis, The Beatles, and the Beach Boys would still be number 1 on
the hit parade (Music of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s would be BIG)
Musicals would be very, very, very, big (such as “Grease,” and “The
Sound of Music”) John Travolta would be the biggest star.

Television

Classic TV hits would be very BIG and take up at least half the TV
schedules. “I Love Lucy,” “Happy Days,” “The Three Stooges,” etc.
would be very BIG. Wrestling would be very Big. “Life Goes On” would
also be very Big and replayed regularly.

Movies

There would be fewer movies, but they would be replayed over and
over. Movie theaters would allow people to talk out loud to tell
what happens next.

No Secret AgentsPeople would not hurt the feelings of others and they would also not
lie or keep secrets. Therefore there probably would be no secret
service agents, spies, or terrorists.

The purpose of this article is to give back some of what we have
learned to the families and people with Down syndrome who have come
to the Adult Down Syndrome Center and who have been so giving and
open with us. If people understand more of the special talents
people with Down syndrome have, they may be more able to help them
use and develop these talents to improve their lives. We also wanted
to reassure families of younger children with Down syndrome who are
concerned about their child’s future that there is much to be
optimistic about.
one1.jpg

An update… Isabel is FOUR now! She’s doing great. Still working on potty training, but, other than that she’s just doing really well. She’s in preschool now and has a little brother to torment 🙂 So.. life .. is good!!

Bella 2011

Best friends

 

 

 

<<<–Bella and her little brother Alexander!

 

 

 

 


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. juju
    Feb 18, 2008 @ 08:15:14

    i LOVE you ms. izzy! MWAH

    Reply

  2. sewphisticate
    Feb 18, 2008 @ 08:24:01

    she is beautiful, as are you. i grew up with a down syndrom neighbor who was a special olympian. he gave me his gold medals at least twice because i admired them. he was one of the sweetest, nicest people i have had known. i gave the medals back to his mom, of course, but a part of me wishes i had kept them to remind me on those particularly mean days just how much love there is botttled up inside these wonderful people.

    Reply

  3. Jessica Stevens
    Feb 18, 2008 @ 09:47:37

    nita you are very special as is now Isabel. i cannot wait to begin my relationship with her. i know so much about her and cherish her. i want you to know that i want to always be a part of your lives….whether in form or spirit :o) your entire family is very special to me and holds a dear place in my heart.

    love you

    Reply

  4. Aunt Amber
    Feb 18, 2008 @ 10:33:34

    When I seen your bullentin my first thought was there would be lots more smiles and lots more hugs.I have been raised around people with all sorts of disabilites my how life.I have Always had a special spot for people with down syndrome.They represent to me what the world should be.They show strengeth and courage when most of us would just give up.They smile all the time as if nothing bad in the world exsists.And they love with a love that is never ending and so forgiving.And in this day and age they can and DO become productive people and live normal lives.They have jobs live in homes away from the mom and dad( yeah I know you dont want that but she can LOL) and they have so much to offer. I was lucky enough to be blessed with 2 wonderful kids in my life who have this gift.Thats right it is a gift.It teaches US how to love more.It teaches us to have compassion and to care about each other.I love that little girl more than she will ever know and each time I se her picture she is an insperation to me.Renita each day with her is such a gift.She is only 2 and you have the pride of a mother as well as the pride of having a child with the gift of love.As she grows you will watch her become so much and look back on these days and be amazed.Even though you as her mother dont doubt her ability to do anything she will shock even you!.I love you Isabel and I hope you know just how important you are to me.

    Reply

  5. Tammy franks
    May 04, 2008 @ 20:09:03

    Hello ,My daughter has a seizure disorder,and she is mentally retarded,and none of that stops her.She went to prom just last night (may 3) and had a blast .I wish I could love like she does.and never meet a stranger, Like she does.God Bless Our Kids and most of all God has Blessed us by giving them to US.I want to thank you again for being so wonderful to my mom and dad I miss them so much and love anyone they love You & your family are part of our family .LOVE Tammy

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: