I was chatting with a new friend at the park today and the subject of Joaquin and DS eventually came up. She said she wasn't sure that Joaquin had DS because he seemed so happy. She said that she thought all kids and babies with DS were usually sad and lacked emotion. This was her vision of DS and she said that Joaquin didn't fit that vision.
I was kinda stumped. I thought the misconception was the opposite but it goes to show you that the misconceptions are all over the map. I responded by saying that typically people assume that kids with DS are always happy and reassured her that Joaquin has all sorts of emotions and that he can be sad at times too. I told her that maybe she was mixing up low muscle tone in the face with being a sad, emotionless face. I'm thinking that maybe her vision of the typical open mouth face with the relaxed tongue is what she was referring to. I tried to explain that children with DS are just like any other child. I think it made sense to her...I hope. I hope it was a learning moment for her.
I hope to never pass judgement on people's misconceptions. I hope always to be kind, informative and open when chatting with people about DS. I want to be an advocate not an adversary.