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10 Things You Should Never Say to a Mother of a Child with Down Syndrome.

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In a well-meaning effort to support fellow women, sometimes we get it wrong—and this is often the case around the subject of Down syndrome. According to Shari Bottego, president of the Down Syndrome Association of Central New York, “The words that people use can help all individuals lead complete and enriching lives.” When it comes to mothers of children with Down syndrome, here are some helpful ways to avoid saying the wrong thing.

1.Nothing.

The worst thing you can say is absolutely nothing. There is always a lot to be curious about with children, and this should be no exception. Anna Greventis, mother of Lulu, 10, says that people will compliment her daughter on her abilities, and then when they discover she has Down syndrome they just stop talking. “I usually have no issue with answering questions as long as they are specific to DS.” Education is the key to understanding, so choosing to keep quiet in order to avoid hurt feelings is not always useful. Women often appreciate the effort to reach out.

2. “You only get given what you can handle.”

It’s a mistake to take it for granted that a mother of a kid with special needs views herself as having a special burden that doesn’t apply to other people. Lots of people have adversity in their lives—a family member with substance-abuse issues or a life-threatening illness—saying this doesn’t add comfort or “further the cause; it is just a generic answer to an uncomfortable social situation,” Greventis states. Instead of highlighting what could be perceived as a struggle, it might be more helpful to hear what the mother really is having issues with, it might be the huge pile of laundry on the couch.

3. “He/she is God’s gift.”

Well, wouldn’t all children be? This can be taken either way. The general pitfall to avoid is the assumption that their child is somehow more blessed than “normal.” Greventis explains that when people say this she finds it “annoying because it is relegating her to some ‘thing’ that I really need God’s help about.” Meg Keilbach, mother of Will, 7, on the other hand says “WE AGREE!! Will has brought a new perspective to our lives. After having three girls you take things for granted. With Will we treasure every achievement! And for that we thank God daily.”

4. “I could never handle what you handle.”

Women like to show their admiration for other strong women. When one woman mentions to another “I could never handle what you do” it can suggest that they had a choice in the matter. “Yes you would,” might be her response. “It is your child and you would do anything to improve their life. Anything,” Keilbach says. We all know the superpowers moms have, and, like all mothers, women who happen to have a child with Down syndrome think of themselves as mothers first with the same enormous capacity to give that we all have.

5. The “R” word.
“The R-word is often used in front of me when people don’t know.” Greventis goes on, “then you are put in the uncomfortable position of having to ask them to please not use the word and explain why.” Mothers of children with Down syndrome find this term offensive as it generalizes their child’s abilities. “Each person has his or her own unique strengths capabilities and talents,” Bottego states, referring to the language guidelines put out by the Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island.

6. “Did you get genetic testing?”

When mothers hear this, they might feel judged about what options they should or shouldn’t have chosen. “My mother’s good friend reminded me that I ‘still had time to abort.’ I was horrified! We really stopped telling people after that,” Keilbach says. Also, asking someone to second-guess their living child’s existence or question their choices isn’t fair. Embracing their current situation is better than reflecting on the past.

7. ‘Downs kid’

“I guess you can say this is the first thing you should never say to a mother,” states Bottego. The correct name for the diagnosis is Down syndrome. There is no “s” after Down and each person should be considered as a person first—one who also happens to have Down syndrome. Therefore they would be considered an adult with Down syndrome or a child with Down syndrome or the mother of a child with Down syndrome.

8. “Everything happens for a reason.”

Again Greventis refers to this as an old “adage.” Women might not find this particularly useful when they may not believe there is a reason for their circumstances. Rather, like the rest of us, they are simply living their life in the best way they can with what they have. Mothers of children with Down syndrome often feel that they don’t need to find a special reason for their child having Down syndrome because it downplays the importance of feeling that their life is as full of ups and downs as the next person.

9. “I’m so sorry.”

A mom might not necessarily be sad. This statement could be met with a response such as “what are you sorry for?” To imply pity suggests there is something wrong with having a child with Down syndrome when a lot of mothers embrace their situation and enjoy their children like all mothers do. A better comment might be, “How is that for you?” It’s important to welcome their child as much as any other. How about “Congratulations!”

10. “He/she looks so normal.”

Which kid is really “normal”? This concept is something many mothers face all the time. Mothers who have kids who are “different,” might have embraced this difference and think of it as something special. Mothers who have kids with Down syndrome love the special facial and physical features of their children, and don’t think of them as something to be downplayed. Keilbach suggests, “Instead, why don’t you ask about the latest book he is reading or what’s his favorite sport? Does he enjoy second grade? You know, the things that you will ask the other mother in the office.” There are all types of ways we can discuss our children and it is important to consider Down syndrome as yet another variation. It’s more helpful to show interest in the kid—and what he or she likes to do—than to point out (or minimize) any physical differences.

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School Cafeteria Worker Fired For Giving Food To Child Who Couldn’t Pay

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A New Hampshire school cafeteria worker’s act of kindness got her fired and it is causing quite a roar online. Bonnie Kimball tells the Valley News she was fired by her employer, a vendor that supplies food to the Mascoma Valley Regional High School in Canaan.

This termination came a day after she gave a student lunch, even though he couldn’t pay for it. The New Hampshire Union Leader says that Bonnie Kimball let the child take $8 worth of food on March 28, and asked him to inform his mom he needed money to pay it back.

“I quietly said, ‘Tell (your) mom you need money.” Kimball told the Valley News

Bonnie Kimball was fired by her employer for giving food to child who couldn’t pay

Bonnie Kimball was fired by her employer for giving food to child who couldn’t pay

Despite the boy paying the tab the next day on March 29, Kimball was called into one of the managers’ office who had witnessed Kimball’s act of leniency and fired her.

The food vendor explained in a letter that the district manager witnessed Kimball violating their company’s ‘cash handling procedures, the school’s charge policy and federal regulation governing free meals.’

According to Valley News, Kimball had worked for the company for five years serving lunch to the teens at Mascoma Valley Regional High, whom she called another family.

Read also: Woman Helps Homeless Man After Restaurant Kicks Him Out For Asking For Some Water

She also said that she had been following her direct supervisor’s orders to avoid causing a scene, as the company, Cafe Services, was trying to have its contract with the school district renewed.

Kimball added that she’d been told by her boss to give food to students who couldn’t pay and then tell them they needed money on their accounts.

Two of Kimball’s former coworkers resigned in protest, and reports say that students and staff at the school are now rallying around her in support.

What do you think? Was Kimball right or wrong for feeding a hungry child? Was the termination of her job even justified? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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Teen Leaves Prom Date In Tears By MAKING A Stunning Dress For Her, After Learning To Sew Because She Couldn’t Afford One

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Teen Leaves Prom Date In Tears By MAKING A Stunning Dress For Her, After Learning To Sew Because She Couldn't Afford One

Parker Smith, a high school junior from Pendleton, Indiana had never sewn a day in his life. However, he decided to learn how to just so he could make his prom date’s dreams of having the perfect prom dress come true.

In February, Parker’s prom date, Addi Rust , jokingly said, “Parker, why don’t you just make my prom dress!”  Fox 59 reports. This was after Addi had found the perfect dress, but realized that she could not afford it.

Much to Addi’s surprise, Parker thought about her request and ended up saying, “You know what, I think I could actually make your prom dress.”

Parker Smith, a high school junior from Pendleton, Indiana had never sewn a day in his life. However, he decided to learn how to just so he could make his prom date’s dreams of having the perfect prom dress come true.

Parker Smith, a high school junior from Pendleton, Indiana had never sewn a day in his life. However, he decided to learn how to just so he could make his prom date’s dreams of having the perfect prom dress come true.

For the following few months, Parker focused on teaching himself how to sew and asked for tips from his grandmother on how to make the perfect dress.

There were instances where Parker found himself making sections of the dress multiple times just to make them perfect. “I’m such a perfectionist that I was up adding more stones to the dress even the night before prom.” he said.

Read also: Passenger Snaps Photo of Mother-Daughter Pilot Team That Went Viral

The result of his efforts was a stunning blue gown that Addi could twirl around in as she attended prom with Parker.

Through every step of making the dress, Addi knew what the dress looked like, however, she could not help but cry when she saw the finished product!

The result of his efforts was a stunning blue gown that Addi could twirl around in as she attended prom with Parker.

The result of his efforts was a stunning blue gown that Addi could twirl around in as she attended prom with Parker.

“Taking a minute to brag on this man because I think this is the coolest thing that I’ve ever been a part of,” Addi wrote online. “Parker MADE my prom dress. Straight from scratch did the whole thing and I am still speechless. I’m so lucky to have him as my best friend!”

“Quite a journey, but the first thing I’ve ever sewn (a prom dress) has been finished, just in time for the ball. Not only did I get the honor of being the Prince Charming to the beautiful @AddiRust, but her fairy godmother as well, haha! I’m so thankful for her. (From scratch)” Parker tweeted on his page.

 The whole experience has now inspired Parker to create more dresses from scratch.


The whole experience has now inspired Parker to create more dresses from scratch.

The whole experience has now inspired Parker to create more dresses from scratch.  We think that Parker will have an incredible career in the fashion world and Addi really is lucky to have a friend like him!

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Passenger Snaps Photo of Mother-Daughter Pilot Team That Went Viral

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Passenger Snaps Photo of Mother-Daughter Pilot Team That Went Viral

Recently, a passenger snapped a photo of a mother-daughter pilot team on his flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta and it is melting hearts across the world.

The two pilots, Captain Wendy Rexon and her daughter first officer Kelly Rexon, were in the cockpit of a Delta Boeing 757 when a passenger asked to take their picture.

That passenger was Dr. John Watret, the chancellor of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Dr. Watret told the Embry-Riddle Newsroom that he learned that his flight crew were a family affair after overhearing a mom asking a flight attendant if her two kids could go look at the flight deck.

Recently, a passenger snapped a photo of a mother-daughter pilot team on his flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta and it is melting hearts across the world.

Recently, a passenger snapped a photo of a mother-daughter pilot team on his flight from Los Angeles to Atlanta and it is melting hearts across the world.

“The flight attendant said they could – and that they would be surprised.” Watret recalled.

Indeed, when the family returned to their seats, Watret said he overheard them talking about the mother and daughter pilots who were flying the plane. “I thought that was amazing, I was in awe. I asked if I could visit them, too.” Watret said.

After taking their picture, Watret posted the photo on his twitter account captioning it, “Just flew from LAX to ATL on Delta piloted by this mother daughter flight crew. Great flight. Inspiring for you women.”

Read also: Man Hears Two Soldiers Whispering On The Plane, And Runs Immediately To Tell The Flight Attendant

The post quickly went viral, with people commenting on the photo and saying how incredible it was to see the mother-daughter pair working together.

“How about a big congratulations for a mother-daughter team,” said someone online. “That’s a great accomplishment!”

“I think it’s inspiring for everyone because it’s not every time you see parents and their offspring doing great things together.” wrote another.

“That is just the most amazing, wonderful news ever-seriously. My mother and I would never have flown together as crew. We couldn’t even agree on having the radio on/off in the car!” Another person added.

The official Delta Twitter account joined in, too, tweeting, ‘Family flight crew goals!’

As it turns out, Captain Wendy and Kelly Rexon aren’t the only people in their family who are pilots! Wendy’s father is a retired pilot, her husband is currently a pilot with American Airlines, and her other daughter is a pilot as well.

Dr. Watret was elated to see that his post of the mother-daughter pilot team went viral particularly for the attention that it brought to women working in the aeronautical industry, as he works in a university that is focused on creating more opportunities for women in the world of aviation.

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