Journalist Caroline Boudet’s baby daughter Louise is the light of her life, but since Louise was born four months ago with Down syndrome, she’s been the target of insensitive comments by strangers.
Boudet wants it to stop, so she took to Facebook to with a plea for people to think before they speak.
In the Facebook post, originally in French, Boudet begins by saying:
“Here is my baby girl, Louise. She is 4 months old, has two legs two arms, and one extra chromosome.”
Boudet continued, addressing people’s ignorant, stereotyping comments:
“Please, when you meet a [baby with Down syndrome], do not ask her mother, ‘Was it not detected during pregnancy?’
Either it was, and the parents took the decision to keep the baby, or it wasn’t and the surprise was great enough that there’s no need to revisit it.”
She also had a response for their patronizing platitudes:
“Don’t tell her mother, “It’s your baby no matter what.”
No. It’s my baby, period.
Plus: ‘nomatterwhat’ is quite an ugly name; I’d rather call her Louise.”
Boudet’s post struck a nerve—since it was posted earlier this week, it’s gotten almost 27,000 “likes” and almost 35,000 shares. Metro UK translated Boudet’s entire post here.
Other parents with children affected by Down syndrome have posted heartfelt comments of solidarity for Boudet.
Facebook user Diane Lord, who has a 30-year-old son with Down syndrome, wrote:
My son is wonderful, sociable, tender, full of life and full of talent. We wouldn’t swap him for anything in the world.”
Speaking with Buzzfeed, Boudet said she she wrote the post her as a form of release, and that she was “very touched” by the responses.
Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal disorder, effecting about one in every 700 babies- but modern research has increased the life expectancy and quality of life for people with the disorder dramatically.