Down Syndrome – Lessons I Have Learnt
Stereotypes never seemed to be an issue for me, that is until my daughter who was born with Down syndrome. She was given only a 60% chance to survive in-utero, and surfaced my hidden stereotypes.
Small stereotypes involving assumptions and limitations. This needed fixing. So my daughter took me to school on overcoming stereotypes. While coaching and training Millennials in their professional skill sets, I am confronted with stereotypes once again.
Thankfully the lessons my daughter taught me has allowed me to not stereotype Millennials either. Stereotypes are everywhere. Opposed to popular belief, most stereotypes are not vicious and ugly though. The majority of stereotypes society deals with are around the topic of assumptions and expectations which force limitations. Everyone has stereotypes. Knowing it or not, we have them. The trick is identifying your stereotypes and overcoming them as quickly as possible.
The overarching stereotype my daughter taught me to overcome was the limitation of capability. I learned quickly not to project assumptions on my daughter when she was just a baby. She kept beating odds. Again and again my daughter kept pushing the limits and wrecking any stereotypes that I may have had. Stereotypes is defined as a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a groups. In essence, stereotypes is a generalization. Below are 7 lessons I learned from my daughter with Down syndrome on the topic of stereotyping.