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Man called me for advise(?) about his newborn with Down syndrome.

washti

yo vengo para lo mío
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What is normal/advisable for families with this condition? What things are important? How to console a Christian father?

It's an old acquaintance. He found my number somewhere. He wants to know my feelings/observations as the sister of a disabled person (not down syndrome tho). Or 'anything', cause "anything's better in this situation."

It won't happen for real ofc. I need some socially acceptable response though.

He wrote me a message, tried to call several times in the morning, and then wrote an email. I haven't seen him in over 10 years and our last contact was 6 years ago online. We were never close friends of any sort. I guess it's fresh stuff. If I had to measure by myself, with these numbers of contact attempts, I would consider him desperate.

But this guy is very Fe and very religious. And much more social than me. So maybe it's normal or even healthy behavior.

He cleverly didn't mention what was so urgent, so I called back ...The subject surprised me completely and I inadvertently promised to write him something.
He and his brother did my family a favor once. So it would be appropriate, to keep the word.

The thing is I just cannot force myself to even start. I'm honestly the last person you wanna be consoled by.
He mentioned noticing some negative stuff after his visit to my home in the past. I run my mouth angrily saying: "Our family is an example of what not to do". I can be impulsive this way sometimes.
So even he gets, I'm not a fit for it, yet still asking? WTF.

What does Fe -ish person want to hear? He is 42 years old. This is his second child, he already has a 12-year-old daughter.
I want to answer this by making it a one-time contact lest he thinks I'm available and turn me into a hotline.

He spoke ceremoniously about a God testing his character. typical - 'it's a trial'.
I am in favor of eliminating Down's syndrome through abortion (as it was done in Iceland). Can't imagine not doing prenatal tests...and getting pregnant in a pandemic situation. WTF? Totally two worlds.
I think I have 2-3 days to answer. Any ideas?
 

Animekitty

baby marshmallow born today
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I found this video. About Google voice for disabled persons.

BTW I think in 15 years we will have gene editing to cure downs syndrome. Or if not cure, alleviate a tremendous amount of its symptoms.

 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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Yes, he sounds desperate. Probably looking for perspective that will help him accept his child and the burden they currently represent in his mind.

There's no point talking about abortion now that the bab is born. That can only upset him. Even if he wishes he had aborted he needs to move on.

My experience with people with Down Syndrome is that a lot of the stigma and communication issues go away with speech therapy, and that their life is substantially better as a result. They are also able to be quite independent if supported well as children. Of the people with Down Syndrome I've worked with, they were all in charge of their own lives with the one exception of needing support to monitor their blood sugar levels (diabetes is common in the population, and when their blood sugar is low they'd often drift off in a bit of a stupor before recognising this). Even then, they were able to administer the test themselves when prompted and knew what to do based on the result.

ATM your acquaintance is probably exaggerating how much support of his child is going to cost him, and downplaying the quality of life the child will experience. He's also probably "grieving" the potential of the healthy child he was expecting. Your job as I see it is to mitigate all three as best you can by invoking your experience and understanding without misleading him. Good luck.
 

scorpiomover

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I've come across many Downs Syndrome kids in religious families.

They are great. I make a beeline for them. They are always smiling, always happy. They always cheer me up.

They are also completely innocent. So they are one of those who are "without sin". It's like spending your days with a happy righteous person. You are constantly in the presence of G-d's beloved.

I remember hearing that a great Rabbi used to stand up whenever a disabled child came into the room. His reasoning was that they must be souls that were on such a lofty spiritual level, that G-d had wanted to save them from sinning by taking away their physical ability to sin. So he regarded them as righteous saints and stood up out of respect, the same way he would stand up for any other righteous saint.

Tell me: if G-d had given you one of G-d's beloved saints to look after and care for, would you say that he entrusted you with such a person to punish you, or because he knows that you are someone who can be trusted to look after such a person and treat them with respect?

There are other ways to look at things. This is just one perspective.

But it might be something that might be useful to you, and to your friend.
 

Daddy

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Tell him that his son will fit right in in America. And that if Donald Trump can become President, then his son can surely do almost anything. Bonus points if he likes Trump and this insults him (since you don't want him contacting you again about this).
 

BurnedOut

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I mean no insult to the man you are referring to but in my opinion, it looks like he is out of people to talk to about these sensitive things or he is looking for advice that is valid insofar to accepting it in your face but really rejecting it to justify his actions by saying, "Thanks for the empathy but no thanks."

Or maybe he has a good social circle who is very supportive and encouraging him to take on the challenge given the general humanist perspective of religions towards the disabled. Perhaps that is what is happening and now he wants to hear his own words from your mouth about how difficult it is going to be for him.

Everyone here is speculating because it looks like everybody in this thread figured the intriguing aspect of this man contacting you after several years. It is bound to evoke a rather analytical than a sympathetic response simply because it is inappropriate to call an acquiantance and demand a swift solution and expect that someone who is not close to you to cooperate fully. In my experience, such people are socially quite adept already and also somewhat domineering as they think that anxiety-slamming someone will always yield a helpful response.

If I were you, I would likely turn down the request and suggest him to go to a doc because let us all be honest, we do not all have wives and kids or if we do, the kids don't have down's syndrome. This, with more certainty, points to the fact that this is rather social gambit than a genuine call for help given how obvious it is for someone in his position to seek a doc immediately and have consoling sessions with the support system which is bound to be even better due to its religiousness.



After reading the op again, I believe even more firmly that this is some kind of a power play in the form of a very lopsided quid pro quo wherein if you, accept, are obligated to arrange for docs, counsellors and even explaining to his wife or his family. This is bound to very stressful lest you wisely turn down the underhanded strongarming
 

Cognisant

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This is why I support socialism, some problems are just too big for the individual and I would like to do something to help that does not require my direct involvement (paying higher taxes to fund support programs/services) and have the reassurance that such safety nets exist in the event that such misfortune were to befall me.

The more American "fuck you, got mine" approach would be to blame them for not seeking prenatal testing (to demand that they take responsibility their own actions) and then not allow them abort the fetus anyway because that would be against god's will.
 

Daddy

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The more American "fuck you, got mine" approach would be to blame them for not seeking prenatal testing (to demand that they take responsibility their own actions) and then not allow them abort the fetus anyway because that would be against god's will.

lmao, so true
 

washti

yo vengo para lo mío
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Thanks, guys. I just can't write any lengthy platitudes. I was never good at social BS.
And I figured that I don't wanna any more duties of this sort.

I send this:

I started to write for you a few times. However, I cannot do it. I don't feel comfortable with that. My experience with [...] is a very personal thing that I don't want to share. Something in me refuses to reveal myself like that. I'm sorry I can't help you. I hope you will find your way in this difficult situation. You have a family and a religious community with whom you can seek various solutions (technical/legal/economic/psychological) It is definitely worth taking advantage of every available option. I wish you a lot of strength.
That's me. Softer version.
My specialty is to disappoint, apparently. ;)
 

BurnedOut

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Yikes. That's gonna piss him off. At least you are done with this
 

Daddy

Making the Frogs Gay
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Wait, that's good, but make sure to add a line underneath everything that reads: "your mother was a hamster and your father smells of elderberries". And make sure to sign your name at the end there. It's really important that you do this. I can't stress this enough. Your future self will thank you for this more than you can ever know.
 

Cognisant

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If you want to piss him off tell him that you'll pray for his sins, because he must have done something to deserve this, and for him to have the strength to accept god's punishment with grace. Then refuse to offer any actual help because it's his burden to carry and not your place to question god's will.

It lacks originality but I'm sure he's a man who can appreciate the classics.
 

crippli

disturbed
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Is it possible to do some resarch into the subject?
 

Minuend

pat pat
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Thanks, guys. I just can't write any lengthy platitudes. I was never good at social BS.
And I figured that I don't wanna any more duties of this sort.

I send this:

I started to write for you a few times. However, I cannot do it. I don't feel comfortable with that. My experience with [...] is a very personal thing that I don't want to share. Something in me refuses to reveal myself like that. I'm sorry I can't help you. I hope you will find your way in this difficult situation. You have a family and a religious community with whom you can seek various solutions (technical/legal/economic/psychological) It is definitely worth taking advantage of every available option. I wish you a lot of strength.
That's me. Softer version.
My specialty is to disappoint, apparently. ;)
It's an acceptable reply, and reasonable people will accept it.

It sounds like a person in despair reaching out to you. Whether you want to use your insight, knowledge, wisdom in this area is ofc entirely up to you. You probably have some insight and perspective that is unique to a person in your situation. Maybe those insights would all be destructive to him. Regardless, you have the power to contribute. It's all about what you value at this point. Do you value the well being of this person you might not even have liked before? Do you value the well being of his child? Would you be willing to step out of your comfort zone if it benefited someone you never even talk to? Etc

And yeah, I get the abort sick people thing, as someone who is partly sick myself that might even be the merciful thing. But regardless of that, what will you do when someone is already experiencing that pain? Fall back hard on your values, or try to help them? I mean, you do have some sort of power when you have the perspective you do, question is, what will you do with it?
 

Daddy

Making the Frogs Gay
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If you want to piss him off tell him that you'll pray for his sins, because he must have done something to deserve this, and for him to have the strength to accept god's punishment with grace. Then refuse to offer any actual help because it's his burden to carry and not your place to question god's will.

It lacks originality but I'm sure he's a man who can appreciate the classics.

Genius. :desire:
 
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