Two days ago I posted the following picture on The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl’s facebook page.
The status update- “It took 19 years, but it finally happened. 'I don't want to have Down syndrome, I want to be like normal people'. It's a huge melt down and our words dismissed. My heart is breaking.” As a result of that status, I received many wonderful comments and shows of support for me and for Alex.
Once again I was reminded of the huge circle of support we have in the down syndrome community. A huge thanks to everyone who read our status, and an unabashed request to like our page and see these wonderful comments.
I know Alex’s meltdown was directly related to her rejection from her number one college choice. In Alex’s world there is not much gray, her life comes in black and white. Alex knows that both her sister and brother were accepted at their first choice colleges, and to her that should be her norm. She knows both her sister and her brother can do a lot of things that she can't…go away with friends, buy what they want with the money they make, etc… and to her that should be her norm. Up until now Alex has been okay with this difference in independence, in the back of her mind she knew college would equalize her, that was her white.
Alex’s black occurred as she and her Dad spent the afternoon working on the University of Cincinnati’s application. The daunting task of filling out a 17 page application (some of it I can fill out) convinced her that applications were futile, further rejections will follow because she has down syndrome. It was an epic meltdown.
Alex has made the leap, the leap I have been dreading since she was 13, almost hoping it would never happen. She has learned that she is different and to her that is not a good thing, in fact it is now the reason Alex can not do a lot of things.
And as Alex works through her application for the University of Cincinnati, I work through the many differences that are Alex. All good. All special. And all so Alex.