Q8: Adventures in the Mainstream

Q8) “When I got back to the ship it was the cocktail hour.  I found him sitting at the bar in the lounge, nursing a cold Coke and talking with the people.  He barely acknowledged my arrival, and I took a seat some ways away.  I’ve seen a lot of people over the years approach Ned with the assumption that he will be a drooling, monosyllabic village idiot type, good for a pat on the head and not much more.  Initially they are pleasantly surprised at his gregariousness and social skills.  For those who hang in there with him, there is a second surprise.  It’s that moment when they realize they are having an interesting conversation, usually for the first time in their lives, with a young man who happens to have Down syndrome.  That’s where we are now with many of our fellow passengers.  It’s a revelation for them, and a big treat for Ned.” p. 18

Do you have the kind of ‘radar’ Palmer expresses in this passage that clues you in to people’s assumptions about your loved one?  Was there a time when you witnessed someone’s surprise when they got to know your loved one?

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