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Noah’s Dad: Misbegotten Messiah

Noah’s Dad: Misbegotten Messiah

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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. I love that there are hilarious posts that lighten it up for us in this community, lifting that ire that has blanketed many of us in the Down syndrome community…

Rick Smith is the self-declared Messiah of Parenting a Child with Down syndrome.

His posts, his declarations, his statements, all urge us to look to him for answers. Yes! look to him, this first time man without any experience whatsoever with disability, and gain this profound understanding of um… parenting a child with Down syndrome!

courtesy of Melissa Bush McKrola, creative cat

So here –  Laugh away! 

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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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Julia gray

Wednesday 9th of December 2015

Because he was all, "We are all in this together. I support all you Ds community people and I will respond to you." I asked him to review my book (My fabulous, Amazon best selling, award winning book that I'm not naming here because it would be too self-serving and I really am just enjoying the vent) and got NO response. Now I don't want to sound like a total brat and he has the absolute right not to do that BUT don't be all kumbaya-I love you-we are all in this together-I want to hear from you and I will respond and then just ignore me who has double the time invested on this road that you are selfservingly using you tool (OK, maybe I'm a smidge of a brat) ?

Meriah

Wednesday 9th of December 2015

!!! Hey! I'll review your book!!! xo

Rachel

Sunday 12th of October 2014

Ah yes...just went along and googled the guy. Now I see. Did you see that he actually took a road trip for 10 days? With his kids nonetheless? Man, that's living on the edge.

Meriah

Sunday 12th of October 2014

bwahahahahahaaa!!!!!

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!!

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