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All About…Noah’s Dad

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Noah’s Dad” is a guy named Rick Smith. Rick Smith is evidently studying to be a pastor and is married to a pediatrician. About a year ago, they welcomed their first child into the world, a bonny boy whom they named Noah.

With absolutely no previous experience in disability rights/advocacy or even parenting, Rick became “Noah’s Dad”, a self-professed expert in all things Down syndrome related. He spammed his blog onto online forums of which I am a member (and by the way: sharing a link to your blog isn’t spamming; posting 14 links in a single conversation is).

It was a little annoying and perhaps a little amusing in a ‘gosh, will he ever stop promoting himself?’ kind of way until he wrote a post that went viral  – the post about the boy model with Down syndrome that Target hired. All of the sudden, he was the darling of mainstream media and he said lots and lots of rather astonishing nuggets of untruth like there was nothing positive about Down syndrome in existence when Noah was born…so he (- Rick Smith) started it! He said he couldn’t find any information about Down syndrome online! Couldn’t find any blogs! As a blogging friend retorted, when my daughter was born, I couldn’t find ‘one’ blog either…I found over 300!

All this, when he had been an active online forum member (until asked to leave because of his relentless spamming, that is), when he had himself relied on hundreds of other parents of kids with Down syndrome for information and support. And he said there was “nothing“! That he ‘saw this vacuum and decided to fill it‘.

To say that Noah’s Dad aroused ire within the Down syndrome community of which I am a part is a tad understating things. It’s more like everyone felt like they’d been walked over and then pooed upon.

What rubbed (and continues to rub) me seriously wrong is his habit of twisting support for Down syndrome or a life with Down syndrome to his needs. That is, he urges people to “like” photos of his son on facebook saying, “show that his life is worth living by “liking” this picture”. So….. if I don’t “like” the photo, I don’t think Noah should be alive? Are you kidding me? Are you for real, Rick Smith? How can you possibly think to weave a petty “like” into the worth of a life?

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In all of this, I simply adore the sparkling humor that glitters over the Down syndrome community. Lexi (who shared her Short Bus post last week) wrote a post that I sincerely hopes goes viral, “What Did I Do Before Noah’s Dad?”

I love that the post really captures the feel that has blanketed many of us in the Down syndrome community… that somehow Rick Smith is the self-declared Messiah of Parenting a Child with Down syndrome. That, by his posts, his declarations, his statements, we should be looking to him for answers. Looking to him, this first time parent without any experience whatsoever with disability, and gain this profound understanding of um… parenting a child with Down syndrome!

It’s just so far-out, you gotta laugh.

courtesy of Melissa Bush McKrola, creative cat

So here – go ahead! Laugh away! 

And while you are at it, here’s another one which also had me wishing I was a little more continent:

All in good fun, all in good fun – Patti’s friend made this – Patti has a son named Noah with 46 chromosomes (= typically developing). She joked, “it’s my new blog header. there just aren’t enough positive blogs about kids WITHOUT Ds out there. I saw the vacuum and decided to fill it.

Please excuse me while I go to the bathroom because I’m still laughing so hard it’s unsafe.

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Now, before any rabid Noah’s Dad fans come out of the woodwork an attack me for this post, I want to add: if Rick Smith has helped you, I’m happy. That’s good. If he’s made your life easier or better – more sparkly in some way – that’s awesome, mmm’kay? I’m not promoting hate here. Simply expressing my opinion. And you bet your bottom dollar I’m not going to ask you to “like” this post or “share” it to show that my daughter’s life has meaning.

 I know that already.

 

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vesta

Monday 19th of May 2014

Well Rick can bug me at times. I was pretty annoyed by the "if you don't like this photo then my son has no value" or the post by his wife about picking a pediatrician. That one really bugged me. I will defend him now by saying that he had a child with Down Syndrome and needed to become an expert. Isn't that what we as a society would wish that every parent would do? I know after I had Henry, I did the same thing. I think for the most part Rick's heart is in the right place.

Di Doe

Thursday 17th of April 2014

It's being repeated because it strikes a chord not just where you are, with this father, but elsewhere in the world . I have also seen this phenomenon : The zealous father who assumes that no one else has ever tackled issues, offered support or expressed an opinion on DS issues before they became the "saviour". The lack of insight into the offence that they cause within the community speaks to the narcissism of the personality involved.

BTW I am a veteran of the DS community ( my son is 28) but I still like to keep tabs on what is happening. I followed Noah's Dad for a while but soon got tired of the self promotion and left. Your blog is great !

Meriah

Friday 18th of April 2014

thank you! I think you hit the nail on the head there with the "zealous father"...

Do you blog? I love to follow the stories of families who have a member with Down syndrome who are older!

Ana

Wednesday 2nd of April 2014

I love your sense of humor :)

For me, to read blogs like Noah´s or Kelle Hampton when Silvia came to our lives was something like therapeutic. I mean, I´m not completely agree with some of the post I read in this blogs, but if they give a couple of ideas that could help us is great and, of course, I like a lot to see the down syndrome vision in people with different culture than mine.

I think the blogs are a good idea to flow your thoughts about how you´ve changed when your not-typical child decided to enter in your live and break the rules you guess were the right one. And, of course, to look for candidates to marry my child in the future!

I´ll visiting you soon!

Meriah

Friday 4th of April 2014

:) sounds great!!

DenaMama Charlie Mccune

Tuesday 1st of April 2014

I don't think I have ever read his blog. Why because I got tired of seeing him on all the groups pages I am in. I just couldn't give in. My son is 8 and there was a lot of places on the internet to go for information and support when he was born. How old is Noah?

Meriah

Friday 4th of April 2014

I'm not really sure to be honest... maybe 3 or 4? He was born after Moxie, that's all I remember...

Jessica A Bruno

Monday 13th of August 2012

Whom the heck is really Noah's Dad aka Rick Smith anyway and will he be the next Kelle Hampton, if he puts his blog into a memoir form? Like Kelle Hampton has done with her blog, Bloom. Basically, all of this has been bugging for a mo now. Have yet to come info that tells me one way or the other if both of them are for real or fake.

Meriah Nichols

Monday 13th of August 2012

They are real - people, that is.

Meriah

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