“I not have a girlfriend…I’m ready for it.” …Ben rejected the suggestion of a girl like him: “I don’t date Down syndrome girls. I want real girls.”” P. 165
This sentiment may seem prejudiced or even odd to people outside of the Ds community, however it’s not an uncommon one.
Has your son/daughter ever expressed similar feelings? If yes, how did you respond? If no, how did you feel when you read this passage?
We also hear about Lindsay’s opinions on dating and boys. She has some very strong and mature notions about what she wants and what she will not accept from a boyfriend. Wyllie comments “If only all teenagers could think along these lines.” (p. 166)
Does your son/daughter express have similar “rules” for dating? Has he/she expressed specific desires for a relationship? How have you handled the issue?
When Andy develops a crush on the nanny, we’re told the young woman handled his advances with grace.
Have you had to deal with inappropriate flirtation? How have you taught your son/daughter what is acceptable and what is not?
When the young boys laughed at him, Andy stood up for himself by saying, “”Don’t laugh at me. I can’t help it; I’m handicapped.”” (p.167)
What was your reaction to Andy’s self-advocacy? Have you ever hear your son/daughter respond to bullies? Does he/she participate in self-advocacy in an organized way? (in particular groups like the Arc or NDSS/NDSC?)
Wyllie admits the difficulty associated with trying to decide whether to address unkindness or ignore it. Have you struggled with that yourself?