If by chance you’re not happy right now – we’ve got just what you need!Today we look at videos that include adults who have Down syndrome, and of course, we start with the one that went viral last year on World Down Syndrome Day.
“The prom is an iconic event in American culture, one that is consistently drawn upon in contemporary media to show the triumphs and travails of youth. Along with high school graduation, the prom is often heralded as one of the most important experiences in high school, perhaps even of all adolescence. Images of the prom as a coming-of-age rite permeate our culture. Yet, if we were to presume that the prom is a rite of passage, to what precisely would it be a rite of passage?” p.2
Routledge, New York, NY.
Big news in the special needs community!
The film follows Monica and David, both of whom have Down syndrome, from just before their wedding to just after their one year anniversary. The documentary includes real time video of their day to day lives as well as interviews with Monica, David, and people from their families.
In fact, it’s shocking she allowed this movie to be made because she carries a lot of fear about the world. Which of course, conflicts with her desire to enable Monica to live a full life and explore her potential. (Sound familiar anyone?) Monica’s mother admits she has built her life around her daughter, and her daughter’s safety and happiness is her top priority. There are worse ambitions.
I’m overprotective of Monica, too. I’m glad her family has the means to protect her and care for her new husband as well. Neither of the couple can cook, admittedly. Nor are they allowed to go down to the beach to walk by themselves. They work when they can. They have friends over. They help around the house.
You know what I loved? I loved that there was closed-captioning for those of us who don’t speak Monica and David, but within their home it was a language everyone knew. I remember when Marcus was little and had friends over or in the carpool to-from school, he would banter with his
friends. He spoke Marcus and they spoke Michael/Joey/etc. We parents didn’t always understand, but they did. They understood each other. I wish Marcus could walk around with closed captioning. Not for me, I speak the language, but for everyone else. Folks often give the impression, “If I can’t understand you, you have nothing to say.” I hate that. Closed captioning. Or maybe Douglas Adams’ babel fish. That would be the best. But I digress…
So the question is, what did everyone else get from the story of Monica & David? Did the closed captioning allow people’s minds to open? Did mother’s sharing their hopes and fears allow people’s hearts to open?
Did parents with young children with Down syndrome feel a burst of hope or a dose of dread at these outcomes, at this story of a life?
Regardless, I’m glad Alexandra Codina told this story the way she did. The clips were honest. There weren’t contrived emotions from contrived moments. *Advocate to the reasonable* it’s all we can really do, and I feel she did it well. Have you seen Monica & David? It’s on Netflix now and also available on DVD. Let me know what you think.
- Mardra, Grown Ups & Downs
Join the King Family of Freedom Farms as they battle the elements – and each other – to keep the family business going. This hardworking family will keep you laughing as they provide the Pittsburgh region with the very freshest produce possible.
I stumbled on an article posted on January 2nd on the show site entitled “Farm Kings Q&A: Lisa King on Motivating Children with Down Syndrome” I wanted to see if she had some good advice that we could post on the site.
“Sometimes it’s very difficult to motivate children with Down syndrome,” says Lisa. “You give birth to nine other children who are very athletic, and then you have this child that you have to push and encourage. It’s a struggle for Ben.”
“Since we’ve started taking these walks with Ben, he’s lost about five pounds,” adds Lisa.”That just shows me that if I can inspire Ben to lose weight, I can inspire a whole group.” With Ben as her motivation, Lisa aims to inspire her family of customers to eat right and exercise. And she continues to find ways to challenge Ben to stay fit.
But the article made me want to see what else was out there. I did a search (or two) and found a few more articles, most of which focus on the “hunky” older brothers and how they look with their shirts off. (lol).
Ben does have his own bio slot on the GAC website just like the other ten family members.
Now, I’m not sure why something seems strange to me – in all fairness I’ve never seen the show. Maybe Lisa King is trying not to overexpose her youngest son for fear of looking like she’s taking advantage of him. At first I thought maybe he didn’t like being around all the noise and commotion that must accompany a production like that. I got my answer to that question in an article written in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
It’s especially warming to see how youngest son Benjamin has adapted. Born with Down Syndrome, he was reluctant to be around the cameras at first but has grown to love the attention.
From Jamie Barker via Facebook:
Does Ben struggle in front of the camera?
Lisa: Haha, He actually loves being in front of the camera, sometimes we actually have to tell him that’s enough.
Choose as many as you think apply – or add your own answer.
Let me know what you think
This month we’ll focus on telling stories about the adults who have Down syndrome that we love. We’ll also address some of the issues that surround talking in public about our loved ones like:
- What stories should be told – should we only tell the good ones?
- How should they be told – by whom ?
- What about privacy?
- What audience?
- Does it do any good?