During my undergraduate studies in Family & Consumer Sciences, I developed a series of lesson plans for an education course I took. I created a unit on family communication patterns, and one of the activities I incorporated was called the “No Sandwich.” The basic premise of the No Sandwich is this: to make a negative response easier for the receiver to swallow, you sandwich the bad news between two pieces of good news.
During the last 48 hours, I have read three separate news items with a common denominator; each story revovles around a child who has Down syndrome. Two stories were heartwarming; the other was stomach churning.
So now let me serve you these stories in a No Sandwich.
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The Bottom Slice of Good News: Kudos to Target
While thumbing through Target’s 2012 spring catalog, I couldn’t help but smile at this photo.
This isn’t the first time Target has included a child with Down’s in their ads. When they did so back in January, Target was widely praised via mainstream media. In response to the praise, the company’s spokesperson said, “Target is committed to diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our business, including our advertising campaigns. Target has included people with disabilities in our advertising for many years and will continue to feature people that represent the diversity of communities across the country.”
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The Bad: The Meat, The Spoiled Meat
Hat tip to Live Action News for posting the story about the couple who filed a “wrongful birth” suit against their hospital for failing to prenatally diagnosis their daughter with Down syndrome. The couple was recently awarded a $2.9 million payout by an Oregon jury. From Live Action:
Ariel and Deborah Levy, who say they would have had an abortion if they had known the child would be disabled, claimed they needed the money to pay for their daughter Kalanit’s lifelong care.
And a jury agreed, deciding on Friday that Oregon’s Legacy Health hospital had been negligent in failing to diagnose the condition in a pre-natal scan.
The hospital is considering appealing the verdict, but the Levys’ lawyer urged them to ‘let this case finally come to an end’.
… Although they say they love Kalanit and treat her the same as their other children, the Levys demanded a huge payout from the hospital to pay for the extra medical care she requires.
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The Top Slice of Good News: Normal Is a Cycle on the Washing Machine
March 21, 2012 marks World Down Syndrome Day and in anticipation of the celebration, the International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life has produced the following video. In it you will see parents sharing their answers to the following question: If you could go back, before you had or adopted a baby with Down syndrome, what would you say? What would you tell yourself? Their responses are so encouraging — full of love and joy.
I think my favorite response is, “Normal is a cycle on the washing machine.” I only pray the Levys will one day believe that, too. Can you imagine a world where all faces like the one in the Target ad and those in the video are systematically eliminated? I sure don’t want to, but we’re only 10% away.
Now that you’ve eaten your sandwich, let’s end with a sweet dessert. My cousin reminded me of something Pope Benedict XVI said: “Each one of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.”