CT Women

Don't Miss

News Flash: Not Everyone With Down Syndrome Is Suffering

Setting the record straight on special needs and disability.
News Flash: Not Everyone With Down Syndrome Is Suffering
Brad Guice

I took two of my children to the mall a few weeks back. After stocking up on sneakers and sandals, we stood in line to ride the carousel. I paid $2 each for their tickets, then the lady at the cash register peered over the counter at my daughter Penny. "Is she a special need?" she asked me.

I stammered something in response.

"Special needs ride free," she said, handing me back my money.

I suppose it's a nice policy to give free rides to kids with special needs. I don't fault the lady behind the ticket counter for not knowing about "person-first" language—which is to say, she could have asked, "Does your daughter have special needs?" I don't fault her for seeing what is written on my daughter's face—Penny has trisomy 21, better known as Down syndrome, the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21 in every cell of her body.

At the same time, something bothered me about the exchange. However kind her intentions, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview
To continue reading, join now for free and get complete access.
Already a CT subscriber?
or your full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.

Information about CT Women
CT Women exists to highlight writing by Christian women. We cover trends, ideas, and leaders that shape how women are living out the gospel in our time. Learn more by meeting our advisors and editors.

Read These Next

hide this
Access The Archives

In the Archives

This article is available to CT subscribers only. To continue reading, please subscribe. You'll get immediate access to this article and the entire Christianity Today archives.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?
or to continue reading.