Steve Palmer's blog about his son Stanley - who has Down's Syndrome - & the extended family. All about Down Syndrome and learning disability.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Letter to Evening Standard - Undateables

Kate, from the Undateables
Victor Lewis-Smith's article on the Undateables is here - and my reply is below - in the Evening Standard ~ 

As the parent of a boy with Down's Syndrome, Victor Lewis-Smith's review of The Undateables was a refreshing read. He not only stood up for people who are vulnerable; he also tried to get to know their characters and understand their points of view. He worries about whether these people should appear on TV. Of course it's a concern; we steer a fine line between protection and offering life opportunities unthinkable to people with learning disabilities even a few years ago. All I would say to him is ask the people who were in the show, whether they were happy to be filmed. It's a good starting point because they can more than contribute to their choices in life.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Lost properly

I've been back-cataloguing and watching Lost from the  start. If you don't want to know what happens, look away now. In a way it's quite offensive to disabled people. Not only do none of the plane crash survivors develop impairments after they plunge thousands of feet onto a beach; one of them is even CURED of his disability BY the crash! And another has her asthma cured via the medium of eucalypti, because they couldn't find her inhaler. So it's not based in reality and really offensive. And I'm enjoying every minute. 

Leaving that one side - and that's a huge buck-passing moment - it's got me thinking. Some people say that having a child with DS is like getting on a plane to France and ending up in Italy. I prefer to say it's like getting on a plane to France and ending up, crashing on a strange, inhospitable island, where polar bears and wild boars threaten you so you can never relax, and there's no chance of being saved! That said, some of the characters discover themselves, so there's that. But we got dumped on that island and we're spending our time dealing with the day-to-day living, rather than throwing up flares. 

But the interesting character is Jack. He spends the first few minutes of the first episode being completely bamzooled, stumbling about, as seen in the picture here. Then he pulls himself together and gets on with it. Been there, done that.

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