Monday, December 23, 2013

"Chromosomes" bumper sticker

I am driving a lot, so I see a lot of bumper stickers. This one caught my eye today:
Chromosomes Bumper Sticker

Say what?! Yes, I got it, your kid has Down's syndrome. Yes, you want to raise awareness. But since when do extra chromosomes come with bragging rights?

Maybe I am way off mark here. Maybe this is supposed to send our overachieving and under-educated parents into a panic: what are those chromosomes, and how can I get extra for my child? Obviously, if your child has more, then I should push to get some, too. What my gut feels here is an exploitation, a hijacking of a difficult situation to serve parental need for attention grabbing. 

My very quick online browse showed that there are other bumper stickers out there, with a gentler message of love and acceptance and pride. 

Extra chromosome? Just more to love!
Friends don't count chromosomes.
Love doesn't count chromosomes.
I love someone who has Down syndrome.

But this? This is showing off.  As 9 yo astutely observed, isn't this embarrassing to the kid? I wonder whether the parent thought to ask the child before slapping one of these on the car how he feels about being an advertisement.

Full disclaimer: I have nothing against Down's syndrome. I will not even pretend to know what it's like to raise a child with T21. I do not believe that atypical people should be hidden away or swept under the rug. I am just wondering: what is this sticker trying to accomplish?

1 comment:

  1. I think it's a joke, keying off those "my child is an honor student at..." bumper stickers. Parents are always bragging about their kids, so the chromosomes sticker makes fun of the bragging. Maybe it's also meant to make people think about how their parents of special-needs kids are just as proud of them for being who they are as parent of "honor students" are proud of their kids.