Karen Kilbane

Lovely. A friend of mine has a son with Down syndrome and while visiting his place one day, for a rehearsal, we were asked to stay for lunch. He asked me to go to his son’s room at lunchtime to get him (he had been watching television while we rehearsed). When he opened the door I saw that he had been watching the show, “Star Trek: the Next Generation”, which was a show I had watched, and enjoyed. So, at lunch, he and I spoke (quite animatedly) about all things “Trek” … to the amazement of the others who seemed a bit put-off by the young man’s condition.

When my friend was giving me a ride home later he turned to me and said, “I wanted to thank you,” and he seemed like he almost had a tear in his eye.

“For what?”

“For being so friendly with my son … you spoke to him, laughed, he hasn’t been that engaged with others in a … well, that’s not usually how things go.”

I looked at him and replied, “I was a guest in your house … in HIS home — what kind of a jerk [I believe I used a different word] would I be if I’d ignored your son? Besides … he loves ‘Star Trek’ — if anyone knew about the importance of equality, it was Gene Roddenberry.”

The only barriers to acceptance are our ignorance. I’ve never met a person with DS who was racist or had any hateful inclinations. This tells me that their parents are exceptional — it takes a good person to raise a good person. It takes a jerk to reject them from society. We need more good people.

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