I had a post all planned for today, but once again Freddie has gatecrashed it. Which is wonderful – he is not only acted upon and done to … He ACTS and he DOES, he has agency. Which makes him a fully rounded character in the story of his own life.
It was going to be about ‘doing things for yourself’. Individuals with Down’s Syndrome do learn to perform most, often all, of the everyday tasks of self-care, and can and do share in many of the hobbies and activities we all enjoy. Many achieve a good level of independence provided they have a strong support network nearby. If you think about it, we all need help with some things from time to time. In a kinder, less competitive society, where the emphasis is placed on community rather than the individual, this would not be an issue; each person would contribute what they could, and receive what they need.
I was just pondering this, eating my breakfast when Freddie noticed that Big sister Lucy had come downstairs with her school bag, but not her coat. He immediately left his food and scrambled upstairs to fetch the coat, brought it down and insisted on helping her to put it on and zip it up. Lucy went off to catch the bus, toasty-warm and I helped Freddie to scoop up the last spoonful of cereal, and get ready to leave for school.