Review for “Born This Way” reality show-episode 1

I really enjoyed the first episode-the variance of characters with Down Syndrome as well as the parents and starting to hear tidbits of their philosophies on parenting which I’m sure we will see more about as the show progresses. I used to be a bit scared in Ethan’s first year to hear much or think much on him being an adult, but I want and need to think about it. I especially would like to see more about the community center for people with disabilities as I don’t know much about what they are like. I did work for a company that included this service, but I worked at the developmental preschool associated with it.

I don’t know how much all the young adults represent a cross-section of actual individuals with Down Syndrome, but from what I can tell from my little personal experience in having discussions with adults with Down Syndrome, they mostly seem to have adequate if not great speech skills. That is the biggest thing that seems to be hard and an obstacle for us, as Ryan and I were discussing right now. We want to have conversations with our son and seeing the adults carry on complex conversations is reassuring to us that Ethan will get there, too.

Something else I found interesting is that the one who was struggling with being associated with the word “Down Syndrome” (Elena) was the one whose mother admitted struggling to accept the diagnosis for a very, very long time especially because her Asian culture (not certain where exactly she was from-Japan I believe) was less accepting of such diagnoses than the U.S. I think our kids notice more than we think of what causes stress for us. I am in no way bashing that family, just making an observation.

I will be interested to see how the show, parents, etc. handles the young adults’ dating/sexual/marriage lifestyles. There are so many different components to consider with parenting any child and especially one with special needs. The show gave some future clips to indicate this will be discussed in future episodes. I’m so thankful that regardless of how some families handle it and whether it is how we would handle it-it gives food for thought and allows us to think through scenarios before we reach that stage. I’m all about being prepared and while I love reading and researching, there is something about watching a show that helps me learn and think through things (kind of like videos you watch in school-at the risk of making it sound like a boring task. The show is anything but boring so far!)

To end my little review, I’ll throw out my favorite quote from the first episode: “I feel like I’m the Matt Damon of the bunch.” haha Check it out! I watched it free on aetv.com