How Empathy Could Save Lives: The Ethan Saylor Tragedy, Penny, and a Better FutureWhat my daughter's friendships have to do with a young man with Down syndrome who was killed over the cost of a movie ticket.Amy Julia Becker
I was walking home with my daughter Penny and her friend yesterday. We had invited the friend over for a last minute play date. I overheard the friend say to Penny, "You keep asking the same question." Penny has Down syndrome, and sometimes it is hard for her to think of a new way to express what she is thinking or feeling. It's as if her brain gets stuck on the same path, even when she has walked that path to its end. Often, she just asks a question over and over again. Yesterday the question was, "Do you want to play on our new playset?"
Penny's friend turned to me, "Penny asks the same question a lot at school too. I sometimes wonder if she just forgets."
I smiled, grateful for the honesty of 7-year olds. "Well, sometimes Penny asks the same question because she can't think of something else to say." I caught Penny's eye and said, "You could make a statement too."
Penny took her friend by the hand. "I'm so happy you want to play with me."