Q24: Life With Charley – Da Weal Santa

Some people call it learned helplessness – asking for help with things they are completely capable of doing.  Some adults who have Down syndrome have learned to manipulate the unsuspecting.

One of the girls in the church, Alyx, comes over to where we are seated, bends down, and says in my ear, “Charley says he’s hungry.” 

There’s an explanation for this. Alyx looks like an easy mark because, A) She’s “perty,” and B) She doesn’t know him, and this means she doesn’t know he’s conned her into getting him something to eat even though he’s capable of getting it himself. It is times like these when Mr. Manipulation is at his best. But who can blame him? What fun would it be to sit with the rest of the group when you can have a doll like Alyx dote on you?  P. 435

Does your child test new people to see what he/she can get away with?

Holidays are extra-special when someone who has Down syndrome is in your life.

Charley takes his seat up front with the rest of the kids, and one by one, they all take turns sitting on Santa’s lap telling him what they want for Christmas.

I grab my cell phone to take some pictures and oops, there goes Charley, doing a nosedive, hiding under the tables.

“What are you doing under there, Son?”

He says, “Mommy, I a big strong man.” (He flexes his muscles.) “I no sit on Santa.”

“It’s okay, Hoss, you don’t have to sit on Santa. I promise.”

“Oh. Kank-u,” he says and comes out from under the table. P. 438


Does your child still believe in Santa?  Are there times when he/she proclaims his/her adulthood?

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