Almost everyone knows what Down syndrome is. When describing an individual with Down syndrome, we might think of the word “intellectual disability,” or think of the many physical or behavioral characteristics that seem to be common among those with the genetic disorder.
People can sometimes “feel funny” around those with intellectual or physical disabilities. People don’t know how in the world they are supposed to interact with them. However, it’s important to remember that they are just like us: they have feelings, dreams and can sometimes be a little crazy! My uncle, Kevin, has Down syndrome and is one cool dude. I wanted to share a little bit about Kevin that will maybe make you laugh and further confirm that people with Down syndrome aren’t scary.
Kevin is VERY competitive.
While this seems to be a characteristic of my dad’s side of the family, Kevin absolutely hates losing. Every morning he races my grandpa to see who can get up first to take a bath. He also calls my dad at 9 a.m. every morning to see which of his employees “won” by getting to work first. In addition to that, Kevin’s favorite sports team never loses. This is because he always switches his “favorite team” to the team that is winning – even if it involves switching teams in the middle of a game.
Kevin is organized.
Kevin has certain days that he’s set aside for certain activities. For example, Saturday is cleaning day. Wednesday is singing day. This is where he spends a good portion of the day going through his CD collection and has to sing to every song. (He sings with headphones on so it can get pretty loud and intense. He also likes to act out the music videos he sees online.) Monday and Thursday is when wrestling comes on television. These can be pretty late nights because not only does it come on late, but Kevin also stays up later to analyze and talk to himself about the results of the wrestling matches.
One more thing that I can’t forget: starting in August, my mom will start receiving frequent phone calls reminding her that Christmas is on the way. OR, he will just cut right to the main point by asking, “Have you started Christmas shopping yet?” FYI: The phone calls do not stop until she informs him that she is completely done with all her Christmas shopping.
Kevin has a long list of dreams and hopes.
If you ever hear him start a sentence with “one day…” while holding up one finger, Kevin’s about to tell you about his hopes and dreams. One day he hopes to have a license, drive a Honda Accord, get married and buy a house. He is so focused on these things and anybody that tells him that this can’t be done; he gets insanely mad at.
Let’s face it: life would be pretty dull without my buddy around.