Letter 4 - Teen Scene Mailbox; Y.B.

Dear Mrs. Sander:
I have a brother who has Down syndrome, and reading your magazine has made me feel that I am not alone. I love reading your magazine and I look forward to each new edition.

I have B'H been brought up in the correct way, and my parents keep on reminding us that just like each normal person is different and has different capabilities, so too, each child with Down syndrome is special in its own way and is able to achieve different heights.

However, I do know a family who lives close by, and they are forever comparing their Down syndrome sister to other special children they know. I am sure they are not the only family who does that. I even find myself sometimes comparing my brother to other children with Down syndrome.

I don't really want to criticize anything in your magazine, as I enjoy it so much and find it so helpful in teaching me that everything is a 'brocha' from Hashem. However, I don't understand why you have those few pages where you write all clever things that your Moishey and other Down syndrome children did ('Up Syndrome'). I find myself analyzing the issues and thinking, 'Why doesn't my brother do what your Moishey does?' If I, who has been raised with the knowledge that all DS children are different, look at it like that, what do people who unfortunately think DS children are all the same feel? And what about those who have a child or sibling of a lower ability than your Moishey - how do they feel? Does it not make them upset when they read about, not one, but dozens, of clever things these Down syndrome children managed to achieve?

I am looking forward to a response. Kol tov!