I fell in love with Peter Parker
This post was originally posted on 15th August 2012
Hello everyone…. Are there any Spiderman fanatics out there?? Well if so I apologise now, because the Peter Parker the title refers to is not the webbed wonder, although he does feature in this post, along side Captain Jack sparrow and Doctor Who. Intrigued? well continue to read and I will introduce you to a man who far surpasses all of those hero’s in terms of their ability to capture my heart…….
So who is this amazing man then ?
Well before I tell you about him, first I should tell you a little bit more about myself. I am a support worker for adults with learning disabilities, and in this job have met some amazing individuals, but none are more special than those who have Downs Syndrome.
Now I’m sure many people will think it is wrong to have a favourite type of individual, and of course they are right, but I would dare anyone to spend any reasonable length of time with someone with Downs and then say they don’t feel they have met a special person.
I could now give you all sorts of facts and figures about Downs syndrome, but there are better places if that is the type of info your looking for, one I would recommend is http://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk
Instead I am going to tell you some common misconceptions I have heard about people with Downs and also why it is that I think these guys are so special. Note this is my own personal view/opinion so if anyone disagrees, well tough innit!!
First misconception – Downs individuals never get angry… I hear this quite a lot and it is a total load of twaddle!!!!…. I have seen individuals with Downs have the most almighty tantrums.
However these guys do not generally bear grudges. They also appear not to be malicious or spiteful, so although a person might in the short term annoy them, they will very quickly forgive and regain their naturally sunny dispositions again.
Second Misconception – Downs individuals are like children… This assumption is levelled at many groups of individuals with learning disabilities, particularly those those with Downs.
Again it it very untrue. An individual with downs who is 30 will have experienced 30 years of living and have the same dreams as everyone else. What makes Downs individuals appear child-like, I believe, is their capacity to live very much in the moment. They take absolute delight in whatever they are doing NOW, with not a great deal of though for what happened in the past or what will happen in the future. This is a quality adults tend to lose as they get older.
So there it is, Downs individuals are in my opinion sunny natured individuals that live in the moment, take delight in everything they do and never stay angry for long. Add to that a general liking for giving cuddles and you can begin I hope to see why I think they are special.
You may have guessed by now that ‘Peter Parker’ is an individual with Downs, and top marks to you if you did. Now obviously I cannot reveal his true name so I will continue to refer to him as Peter Parker.
He did love spiderman, Pirates if the Caribbean (he use to call Jack Sparrow ‘John Parrot’, which still makes me smile now ) and he was as big a Whovian as me…. He did a mean Darlek impression……
Now I knew Peter Parker for over 8 years, and during that time he managed to worm his way into my heart in a way that few other people did ( his girlfriend being the only other person to gain my affections to the same extent, she also had Downs).
Now those who work in social care at the moment will know that we are now encouraged to maintain a ‘professional distance from the people we look after at all times, not to get close to them. Well here in this post I am going to say that is B*ll*x….. you do not spend 30-40 hours a week for 8 years with someone and not become attached. I loved the little guy very much…… and so this leads me to explain why I am writing this long rambling post…….
Almost a year ago now Peter Parker passed away. A year on I still miss him, and I am most definitely not looking forward to the anniversary of that day, but when it comes I shall remember him and think to myself how privileged I was to have known him…….
Now I hope that somehow in this post, I have managed to convey to you all the real experience of knowing someone with Downs. As people with Downs are living longer and becoming more visible in society, it is possible you may meet them more often. Say hello, get to know them, I promise you will not regret it…….
That’s me signing off for now, see you again soon…..
As always I would love to know what you think about my post, so please make me smile by adding a comment or two