I still have a sinus infection and feel crummy. So I'm "punting" and copying April's posted poem today (I had the privilege of actually meeting April in Atlanta at the DownsEd conference in September!). And I'm pretty sure this poem will bless you more than any words I could type today.
TAKE A WALK IN MY SHOES
by Susan Drumright
I am a kid with Down syndrome. It is not something I could choose.
I'd like you to know me better. Would you take a walk in my shoes?
Down syndrome affects my body from my muscles to my brain.
But I'm more like you than I'm not. Come with me and I'll explain.
Let's take a walk together and you can see things through my eyes.
Look we both have Nikes on and we even wear the same size!
As we walk listen carefully, I'll be teaching you about me.
Together we can have some fun, but your help will be the key.
Be patient as I am talking. I often get tongue-tied.
If you can wait long enough, you'll see we're the same inside.
In school I'm often frustrated, learning stuff that's new.
Learning isn't as easy for me as it seems to be for you.
So if you see that I'm in trouble and I need a little clue.
Try drawing me a picture or showing me what to do.
Don't worry if I tell you, "No thanks, I don't want a hand."
I like to do things for myself. My motto is: "I CAN!"
But you can always help me by cheering for my success.
Just like I'll cheer for you when you score a goal or ace a test.
Smiles, hugs, pats-on-the-back...they all make me grin.
I'll give back all these things to you, multiplied by ten.
My world is full of fun things, like movies, pizzas, swings.
It's great to have a friend to share in what each day brings.
Thank you for walking in my shoes. I wanted you to see.
I really need a friend like you who likes me just as me.
What do YOU do when you meet someone with Down syndrome? Do you look for something you might have in common with that person? Or do you immediately go to the differences?