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How to talk to DS about Downs Syndrome playmate.

(10 Posts)
frightstick Mon 02-Nov-09 23:39:30

I would to ask how I talk to DS (3.5) about a girl at his childminder's. He has been going for one day a week after school for the past few weeks.

There is a little girl who is also there who has Downs Syndrome. She is a lovely girl but he says that sometimes she pushes him, is a little rough etc. I'm sure it's no more than any other child of her age would do but it upsets him.

My question is, what is the best way to talk to him? I don't want to talk to him about her condition as he hasn't noticed that she is different from him in any way. At the same time I don't want him to mean to her.

What would you do?

sarah293 Tue 03-Nov-09 08:26:53

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imogengladheart Tue 03-Nov-09 08:40:27

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frightstick Tue 03-Nov-09 09:39:33

Thanks riven. And how do you explain what Down's Syndrome is to small children?

Sorry to sound like naive but I have no experience of DS or how it is discussed.

Homsa Tue 03-Nov-09 09:44:02

Similar problem here - my son, who has autism, is in a mainstream class which is also attended by a child with DS.

Now, I definitely don't want the other children to be told that my son is autistic (they don't know anything about autism, so that would not increase their understanding for him, plus he's not aware of his "label" himself), so I'm not going to tell my son that this girl has DS, either.

I think we should treat all children as the individuals that they are, and talk about their strenghts and weaknesses.

My son's teacher told his classmates that he is working on understanding things like not standing too close to people or stepping on them, and if he does do this, it's because he's finding it hard to remember the rules, not because he's being mean.

When my son asked me why the little girl with DS couldn't write her name yet, I said it's because some parts of her brain are developing a bit more slowly and that's why she finds things like writing very hard.

sarah293 Tue 03-Nov-09 09:44:32

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PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Tue 03-Nov-09 09:50:56

At that young age I would talk simply about how we are allamdeof different aprts so all of us vary- someare good at reading,others art, etc etc etc and this childis really the same but needs hel;pwith afew things.

We'e nevermindedpeoleknowing about ds1 but his classmates didnt generally unlessissues ahdarisen with parents- ds1 decided a term ago to get up suddenly in class after a bad week and explain his ASd to everyone. I think a fewpeople were a bit hmm that he knows so much but with a younger child on the spectruma lso why on earth not? I was proud of him, better to explain and gain understanding of tjhings likehatred of touch than suffer - explode as happens.

PeachyInCarnivalFeathers Tue 03-Nov-09 09:57:10


these two are good general books to have about to start chats about differences, as well as fostering positive disability images. I have thesewith similar about faiths etc and they've always been popular

cloelia Tue 03-Nov-09 14:55:35

my dd is physically very disabled and we have a new cousin who has Down's syndrome; my explanation was along the lines of "you know how some people find doing physical things hard? Jumping, running, hitting balls etc? well, x finds doing "thinking" things hard and so takes longer to learn them.

frightstick Tue 03-Nov-09 20:08:04

that's good advice. Thank you ladies

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