Episode 32 - The (Beautiful) Reality of Befriending Someone with Down Syndrome
We believe that one of the most powerful ways to shift the Down Syndrome narrative is by creating meaningful friendships with people who have DS. But we’re not just talking about those forced, obligatory, hero-complex infused friendships. We’re talking about people without DS who might have no previous interaction with the DS world intentionally creating meaningful friendships with their peers who have extra chromosomes. But let’s be real, those friendships aren’t easy, especially at the grade school level. Parents of kids with Down Syndrome often feel overwhelmed when trying to make playdates for their child with peers who do not have DS. Likewise, parents of neurotypical children might feel the same discomfort when thinking about how to initiate a friendship their child’s peer with Down Syndrome. Oh friends, it’s so hard. But, who better to talk about doing hard things than Heather Avis? Open and honest with her 11-year-old daughter Macy’s friendship journey on @theluckyfewofficial, Heather is tackling this topic on behalf of all three of our hosts today. Alongside Heather is her friend Rachel Haack, a mother of five girls ages 2-13, an interior decorator, a devoted wife, a future clinical psychologist, and a true narrative shifter.
Today, Heather and Rachel are recounting the friendship story between their 11-year-old daughters. Macy and London are two friends with different amounts of chromosomes brought together by two very, very intentional mothers. When Rachel found out that the Avis’s were moving to her city, she immediately reached out to Heather and assured her that Macy would always be welcome in her home. Shortly after, Heather dropped Macy off for her first solo playdate, and we’ll let you listen to this week’s episode to find out the rest. (Spoiler: this story only gets better). Today, Rachel’s home is a place Macy can be herself and play with her friends without the fear that once accompanied a playdate. These mamas credit communication, genuine desire for friendship, willingness to embrace the discomfort, and lots and lots of grace as the reasons for such a beautiful friendship.
So mamas of all kiddos, recap those playdates together, have grace as we ALL learn, and let your kids have fun with people a little different from them. We’ll all be better for it.
Keep up with Rachel Haack and her family on Instagram at @raescornerblog
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Scoot Over and Make Some Room: Creating a Space Where Everyone Belongs by Heather Avis is NOW available on Amazon.
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