I thought this article did a really good job of highlighting both the great joys as well as the great challenges. I guess the only way that I would modify the “happiest people” is to change it to the most content people. Seth is the least likely to complain about not getting something and hardly ever asks for new things. He really does enjoy the things he has and is very happy to continue to enjoy them. He will, however, ask for ice cream quite often. But, he does in the most charming way! From the article:
The statistics are remarkable.
- 99% of those surveyed are happy with their lives.
- 97% answered yes to the question, “Do you like who you are?”
- 99% agreed with the statement, “Do you love your family?”
Do you know of any group of people, of any economic status, educational level, age, ethnicity, or geographic region, who approach those percentages? Who are these happy people?
People living with Down syndrome.
I especially liked this part because it is real and often ignored as most on the outside default to the “they are just always so happy” stereotype.
The cognitive disabilities associated with Down syndrome, which vary with every child, will mean learning will take longer and can be discouraging for everyone involved. Meltdowns, stubborn refusal to obey, sadness about a circumstance, and fights with siblings will be part of the mix. Add how badly many in our society behave towards people with Down syndrome, and you are guaranteed to have hard days.
Every day we have with our Seth is a blessed day.