This separation isn't self-segregation--it's not truly exclusive. But it is clearly self-selection, and it has an important function in a diverse society: self-preservation.
It's a scary world out there and people find comfort in what they know.
The same is true for families touched by Down syndrome, or autism, or cerebral palsy or cancer or diabetes. The ability to spend time with people who already "get it" is invaluable. "Baby" is 12 months old and not crawling...big deal. "Toddler" is two, 30 lbs. and not walking...get a handicap placard for the car. "Preschooler" is almost 4 and still in diapers...relax my dear, it'll come. No explanation and certainly no justification necessary. Just mutual understanding, and more importantly, support.
They speak the same language
Last Saturday was my day to indulge in this self-preservation with my little T21 Club. We were a small group--summer is a busy time for everyone--but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. While our kiddos played we mommas discussed the usual: milestones, Early Intervention, IEP's, potty training, communication supports, sleep studies and specialists.
We watched little Xavi, not quite one year old, crawl on all fours. We laughed when Max and Nathan pulled all the toys off the shelves in the walk-in closet effectively blocking their exit and then started hollering when they couldn't find a way back out. Tiffany soaked up the all the extra hugs she received that afternoon, and Bonnie and I both teared up when our boys, about four months apart, played with a ball together (milestone) and began to takes turns babbling. Full on conversation style. Bonnie and I, astonished, looked at each other and she said, "Oh my gosh! They speak the same language."
|The closet before about five minutes before the hollering.|
|Just seconds from crawling.|
|You just can't see the ball.|
|In between hugs.|
|Hard at work.|