An essay by a fourth grade cousin in 2004
Down Syndrome Kids
“Look, two retarded kids are holding hands!” A classmate whispered excitedly. I
didn’t know what to do — should I stand up for them? Have you ever been in a tough
situation? If you have, you should apply the Four-Way-Test. This is made up of four
main questions. 1) Is it the truth? 2) Is it fair? 3) Will it build good will and better
friendships? 4) Is it beneficial to all concerned? Well, I wasn’t sure about this one. I’d
just apply the test. Then we’d see if this classmate was right to laugh!
So, was it the truth? Well, no. It was not. Definitely not. These kids had the right to hold
hands .God made them just as he did us. True, they had some disabilities. But, don’t we
all have some problems? It’s not nice to make fun of people, even if they are different. I
have a cousin named Monica who has Down Syndrome, and she’s fun to be with. She’s
generous too: last year she gave away all her Easter candy. Anyhow, she has feelings
like anyone else would. We really should respect them as we do each other. Maybe you
don’t realize it but, they may have problems and they do have ears. They can hear you
talking bad about them, too.
Next, is it fair to all concerned? Nope, it can’t be fair to make fun of problems a person
was born with. How would you like it if everyone made fun of you? I know I wouldn’t
like it, not one bit. Monica is different on the outside but, on the inside she’s very much
the same as you or me. I love my cousin and am glad and thankful she was put into my
family. So, technically it’s NOT fair at all. I really wish the expression “put yourself into
another person’s shoes “ were possible. Then, you could feel what the other person feels like.
Then, the question, will it build goodwill and better friendships. Will it? No.
Friendships. Are you kidding me? It’s hard enough to make friends for kids like Monica.
I really hope that these kids will be nicely treated in the future. Many kids manage the
friend business fine, others don’t. Kids with a disability are sometimes excluded from
games because they look different than the other children. These children are made to
believe that no one loves them, which isn’t true but, people treat them bad so, how should
the kids know.
Finally, is it beneficial to all concerned? No, no, and no. So, should we make fun of these
kids? Definitely not. I should tell my classmates to stop. It’s the right thing to do. No matter
what they say. I’ll stand up for myself and for Down syndrome kids!