Feavered Mutterings’ excellent post, “Why Do 95% of Bloggers Give Up?” got me thinking about Down syndrome bloggers. By “Down syndrome bloggers”, I mean mostly those blogs that are written by parents of kids with Down syndrome.
As I’ve said before, there are hundreds of those blogs! It is honestly astonishing, the number of blogs out there that are written by parents of a child with Down syndrome. I’ve wondered a lot about it – whether the plethora of Ds blogs is due to the overwhelming prejudice and stigma that is still associated with intellectual disability. Or if it’s due to the abortion rate and the prevalence of prenatal testing. I’ve also wondered a lot about the fact that there are very few blogs by parents of older kids/adults with Down syndrome.
At this point, I think that the lack of blogs by parents of those older people with Down syndrome boils down to two reasons:
- They might be of a different generation, not as used to the internet or technology as a platform upon which to advocate, share or connect
- They are over it. By “it”, I mean Down syndrome
I rather think that for most people, it’s the second reason.
You see, when one first welcomes their child with Down syndrome into the world, they are struck by a 2×4. Or a semi. Take your pick, but most people are whacked so hard they spin and fall down, gasping.
When they collect themselves, they see their child and their child first and this realization that this is a fact that crosses over – all children are children first – smacks them and they want to share this new-found truth with the world. They want to crusade to change the way everyone else views and perceives Down syndrome. They want people to understand that THEY MEAN IT; really, they do, Down syndrome isn’t that big a deal, despite what the mainstream says!
They go right on over to Blogspot and set up a blog, usually with lots of photos of their adorable young child and usually with tokens of incidental advocacy about their child who “happens” to have Down syndrome. They post with diligent frequency. Then… a bit less. And then… still less. Then the posts really do, just as Feavered Mutterings put it, start off with:
Sorry I haven’t posted for AGES.
Don’t know what to say.
You know what I think really happens at that point? I think that Down syndrome has faded in the lives of these bloggers. That it’s become a non-entity, a blip in the screen. Not a big deal. And when that happens, these bloggers, who were never hard-core diarists to begin with, quit.
They don’t quit all of the sudden, understand. They quit gradually.
Kind of like the way their bone-deep acceptance of Down syndrome comes.