A mother has opened up on her horror and heartbreak when she was ‘reminded’ by a checkout cashier that her son had Down syndrome.
Sherry Clair wrote candidly about the shocking incident on website The Mighty, in order to help raise awareness about living with the condition.
Speaking about her beautiful little boy, Gabe, the mother-of-two says: “Sometimes I forget that our son has Down syndrome. It’s easy to be distracted by his two-year-old tantrums, his mischievous smile and go-getter attitude.”
However, Sherry goes on to recall an incident in which she was so rudely reminded - by a cashier at a supermarket.
Recounting the cashier’s heartbreaking words, Sherry writes: “Sometimes I forget, and that makes it even harder when someone reminds me in a not so kind way. Like the cashier who gave me sad eyes and spit poison in a whisper, 'I bet you wish you had known before he came out. You know they have a test for that now…'"
Describing her reaction as a mix of shock, horror, hurt and fury, Sherry says that the incident reminded her of exactly why more awareness needs to be spread about living with Down syndrome.
She continues: I’d forgotten that sometimes other people don’t immediately see Gabe, they see a “downs kid”… I sometimes forget until I glance up and see the pity in their eye or hear the ignorant comments in not-so-hushed whispers. I sometimes forget that it’s not their fault. They just don’t know.”
What a powerful story, and a reminder that awareness needs to be raised everyday of the year, not just during October.