Sunday, April 26, 2009

Picked Apart

Wowza!

I am shocked at how my baby was handled just the other day. I have to leave out some of the details out of privacy for the person involved but I had to literally hold my jaw closed when I saw how Joaquin was treated the other day.

So, how do I explain this without giving away too many details? We met someone for the first time who works in the field of special needs and academia. I've been looking forward to meeting this person based on reputation. I had really high hopes and expectations. We had an opportunity to meet the other day.

This person held out their arms to hold (I thought) Joaquin when we first met. Instead of holding or hugging or talking with Joaquin, this person proceeded to inspect my child. First his feet were grabbed, looking for the sandal gap. Then his hands, literally turning both hands upside down to see if there was a simian crease. Then his shirt was lifted up to look for I don't know what. Then this person tried to get the baby to stand up on the table facing out and mentioned something about the fact that Joaquin had pretty good tone. All this time, Joaquin is trying to make eye contact with this person and arching his back to try and face this person. Joaquin is extremely curious, social and loves to look and hold people's faces but there was no opportunity for him to do this as he was being inspected. At this point, Joaquin was reaching for me so I grabbed him and this person proceeded to tell me that Joaquin had a mild strabismus but it "looked good" and that his facial features were mild. Then this person asked me if Joaquin had trouble with his cervical spine. Oh. My. Gosh. I had no idea my baby was going to be this persons next guinea pig or anatomical model. Joaquin is a baby for goodness sake. A baby....first. A baby who is darn cute....second. A baby who has Down Syndrome....third. We weren't at the doctor's office, we weren't at a clinic. We were at a youth sports event with other children and families that were all hanging out. It was so surreal.

After this really crazy, unusual, uncomfortable few minutes of interacting, this person then proceeded to tell me that Joaquin was a real cutie. Thanks.

I was really quite shocked by the whole interaction and a little confused and puzzled. I can understand that this person was probably just curious and wanted to see the "markers" up close and in the flesh. Maybe this person was "showing off" a bit and wanted me and those around to know just how smart this person could be. I don't know. What I do know is that my hopes and expectations were met with a big dose of disappointment. I guess not everyone is blessed with the sensitivity chip.

10 comments:

Laurie said...

ughhhh! how RUDE! i just wrote a post about something similar that happened to dylan - i was very upset about it AND it took place at a dr. office! not a sports event for crying out loud!! so i can only imagine how bummed you must feel. i really wonder sometimes what goes through people's minds...
*big hugs*

Tausha said...

Wow, I can't believe that! How angry you must of been. I would of been. It does make you wonder what goes on in people minds to be so insensitive. I haven't come across that yet but I am sure we will with little Sam.

sheree said...

wow...sounds to me like someone was showing off. That is terrible. I am sorry that happened to Joaquin and that you had to witness it. :(

Maureen said...

I'm so sorry that happened to you. I just don't understand some people. I don't mean to imply that I'm better than anyone else because God sure knows I'm not but I'd never even consider doing something like that to anyone's child. What friggen nerve!!! Big hugs to you from me too.

Karly said...

I can't even imagine! At a youth sports event?! I would be enraged as soon as I picked my jaw up off the ground.

Huge hugs to you.

Anne and Whitney: Up, Down and All Around said...

the only thing I could think of as I was reading this was "STRANGE" not to mention "INSENSITIVE" (and that is too mild of a word!) You are right - Joaquin is a BABY and a PERSON not, as you said, a guinea pig. So sorry for your big disappointment not to mention how that had to hurt your feelings to feel like Joaquin was being inspected rather than introduced! Was all of this after your 16 mile run??? Hope you are not too sore!

Sharon said...

That's terrible and completely inappropriate. I think that kind of "exam" should take place only once (at the time of the diagnosis) and then not again. I haven't encountered a situation like this with Brennan yet, but it seems inevitable. I think as Mom's it will take time to figure out where and when to draw the line.

Melanie said...

OMG! I just found your blog and this is obviously my first time posting (which I usually don't do, but just had too!) HOW RUDE of that person. You handled it much better than I would have. I would have had some rude comment to make. I can't stand people like that. This is your child, a human being, someone with feelings..what an buttmunch!! Its too bad some people are so closed minded and ignorant that they can't look past what diagnosis the child has and see WHO that child IS.

Sorry - Hi! I'm Melanie - my son has special needs and I found you through another blog. Sorry your meeting with this person didn't turn out like you expected, but I think you're better off!!

Monica @ Monkey Musings said...

How totally insensitive! I don't know how I would've handled that one! BABY FIRST!!! and yes, a darned cute one!!! It sounded like you were entering a genetic counselor's laboratory with a giant microscope examining him for Down syndrome markers he may or may not have, but a sports event? In public? Ugh!

Lisa Lindsey said...

wow... if this person is an "expert" as you say, just think about the poor people with special needs he/she works with - if this was a casual meeting, just think about a real appointment! so sorry that Joaquin (and you!) were put through that. People with DS aren't specimens for examination!