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

7 Comments

  1. nikkifrankhamilton

    August 10, 2015 at 3:29 am

    What a lovely post, a friend recently had a baby with Down’s Syndrome and this helps me to understand it so much better. I’m sorry you lost your friend and it’s nice that you have such great memories.

    1. The Anxious Dragon

      August 10, 2015 at 5:51 am

      Thank you. I expect its been quite a difficult time for your friend, but there are so many positive things about having a child with Downs. Xx

  2. Pickinguptoys

    July 31, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    Aww what a lovely relationship you had.I once had the loveliest lad with Down’s come into my workplace & he was so happy & upbeat I could have chatted to him all day!

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      July 31, 2017 at 9:40 pm

      They really are such a happy group of people (mostly). A large percentage of my Karaoke guys (about half) have Downs

  3. Michelle Kellogg

    August 1, 2017 at 2:25 am

    I’m sorry about the loss of your friend Tracey! I also understand your view on getting attached. I worked with children with special needs and children in the foster care system. One of the “reasons” my last boss had a problem with me was because she claimed I was getting too close to the mother of one of my clients. This woman’s child had just been diagnosed with Autism, something I am very familiar with, and she had no one to help her or guide her through or to just listen to her. I remember what that was like so of course I got a little close. I went out of my way to educate her on IEP’s and how to advocate for both of her children, which was a part of my job, yet I was accused of getting attached. I know how to keep my professional distance but what the hell is so wrong with having some empathy for people and showing some real human compassion? I swear it’s like they want us in the Social Care field to help but to be like robots or something. It was all BS but it did open my eyes to what I didn’t want to do in the field. This is a great post Tracey and it helps people understand Down Syndrome a little better too! Glad to be a part of your #mondaystumble linky:)

    1. hooks_and_dragons

      August 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm

      It is crazy how they expect us to be like robots with no feelings. Im lucky I now work (one day a week) at a fabulous place that isnt at all like that x

  4. Susan Mann

    August 2, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    What a lovely post. Such a lovely relationship you had. My mum’s partner works with special needs adults and he comes home telling such lovely stories. I am really sorry for your loss of your friend, but you have lovely memories to cherish xx #mondaystumble

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