One Of A Kind, Should We Tell?
Whether or not we admit it, we are a society of labels. We like things clearly defined and in a neat little category, with everything in its place. While an organizational ideal, problems occur when the method is applied to humans. People don’t always fit so easily into a defined category and when they don’t, they often find themselves subjected to expectations – or restrictions – that do not apply.
This was the situation in which Bob and Carol March found themselves when their child was diagnosed with mosaic Down Syndrome. Taylor did not fit the typical profile of a Down Syndrome child, and Bob and Carol found themselves running into wall after wall as doctors, therapists and other professionals failed to look at their child as an individual and instead made boilerplate assumptions based on the academic case studies of others. Increasingly frustrated, and determined Taylor would have the opportunity to complete a public school education without the limits often placed on a Down Syndrome child, Bob and Carol made a difficult decision; they decided to keep Taylor’s condition a secret. Though a decision made with the sole purpose of giving Taylor the opportunity to realize full potential, it was a decision that took the entire family on a journey that taught them much about the labels imposed by others, as well as their own pre-determined assumptions.
"One of a Kind: Should We Tell?" is not intended to be a one-stop solution for those raising or working with children with learning disabilities or similar conditions. Rather, it is meant to be a "road map" and a source of encouragement for all those facing the "roadblocks" and "detours" faced by the March family as they followed their own course. Supplemented by learning and support strategies from the doctor who was one of the few to see beyond the labels, "One of a Kind" is a tale of inspiration, determination and hope.