TORONTO — The Canadian Down Syndrome Society wants to educate people about how to act when a family member or friend gives birth to a baby with the genetic condition — especially avoiding the word “sorry.”
The society has launched a campaign called “Anything But Sorry” that includes a YouTube video called “The ‘S’ Word.” The video begins with a question: “What do you say to parents who just had a child with Down syndrome?”
The answers are provided by people with Down syndrome, who offer up suggestions of what people can say to new parents using every inappropriate phrase they know except “sorry.”
The video project also gives the cast a platform to express their sense of humour and personalities.
Warning: This video contains inappropriate language.
Society national executive director Kirk Crowther says the campaign is aimed at encouraging people to treat the birth of a baby with Down syndrome as they would the birth of any other child — with celebration.
Ed Casagrande, whose four-year-old daughter Emma was born with Down syndrome, says he hopes the campaign helps people see that having the condition is nothing to apologize for.
“The word ‘sorry’ has a negative impact and people should be aware of this when speaking to new parents,” he says.
“We need to change the thinking from a feeling of sorrow to a feeling of celebration. People with Down syndrome live meaningful and fulfilling lives full of great accomplishments. That’s nothing to feel sorry for.”