Downright Joy

Discovering joy in unexpected places – a journey into Down's syndrome, Dyspraxia & Autism

Funny that.


Laughing boy

Did you wake up laughing today?

My daughter did, just like she did yesterday and the day before that, and the day before that too.

Did someone tell her a joke? There’s no one else in her room. Did she remember something funny she saw the day before? Perhaps. Not sure.

Maybe she was thinking about the bus journey to school and how bumpy it feels as she rides, strapped into her wheelchair. Or maybe she was thinking about the funny songs the Music Man sang to her when he came to her class; especially that one about the pirates- that’s funny. Or maybe it was the sheep on the farm she visits, or the goat that jumped on the trampoline with her one day. Whoever heard of such a thing?! Maybe it’s the strange plaster casts on both her legs that she currently has to wear. They do look kind of funny I suppose.

It’s no good asking her, she cannot give an answer. Though she is nearly eight years old, she has no words you see. And right now, only laughter.

Sometimes she is sad. Sometimes she is grumpy. Sometimes she is in pain. Sometimes she is tired.

Just like you, just like me.

A range of emotions.

But because she is non verbal she has to express them differently.

Unlike you, unlike me.

But laughter, chuckling, giggling, rib tickling, snort inducing, full on raucous belly laughter is very often her first emotion of the day.  I’d love to know what makes her laugh.

Did you wake up laughing today? Or did your thoughts turn immediately to worries?

Fears of the future perhaps, or just concerns about the day ahead. So much to do, so much to accomplish. What ifs and what abouts firing off in all directions in your head before your feet have even hit the floor.

My daughter woke up laughing.

My daughter has Down’s syndrome. Many people think her life is not worth living. They think she would be better off not being born. They called her life a ‘risk’. They said she is abnormal. They spoke as if giving birth to her was some great tragedy.

Funny that.




Author: DownrightJoy

Married. Mum of 2 girls, one of whom has Down's Syndrome & Autism, the other Dyspraxia/ASD. Follower of Jesus. Finding joy in unexpected places.

6 thoughts on “Funny that.

  1. Just love this… My lad James (Autistic, LD, Epilepsy) has the most wonderful belly-laugh, which he often breaks into for no obvious reason to us, but for him something is so hilarious that he collapses into helpless laughter… a wonderful sound! Thanks for sharing this Alison. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t remember the last time I woke up happy, my first thought is usually it cant be time to get up already. The kids however seem to be happy first thing most mornings. Hearing your kids laughing as soon as they wake up is such a joyful sound xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I loved reading your article in March’s Wimen Alive Mag and when you said the five things Hazel had taught you it rang so true with my husband and I.
    We have a 19 year old son who has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and us wheelchair Dependent. He was born at 24 weeks as I had pre eclampsia. I remember the day he was a few weeks old that the consultant told us he had cyst on his brain due to his prematurity and the apnoea ( where hed’ stop breathing for a bit) so he may not walk or have vision problems. We are both Christian’s and everyone was praying for us and I remember going back into see my tiny little son and think please not those love big brown eyes. It took while to sink it and I wrote a diary about Kieron’s stay in neo natal unit and special baby care. Which we got printed and gave him o his 18 birthday, I keep the original hand written on I wrote in it each day till he came home about all the people that visited him by prayers for him. I would pray God help my son through this he need to be taking his milk or he needs to get over this infection. God would reply. Sharon it will be in my time not yours. I wanted my son to be absorbing his milk now or the infection to leave him. God taught me patience beyond anything and he was right it was in his time not mine.
    Our son is now 19 has limited language but has a communicator to assist him. He makes himself understood by yes and no answers, eye pointing makaton signs abs symbols. He has his own words for things he cant say. But he gets his point across he is just about to finish his second year at a specialist college and is hoping to go to daycare 5 days a week from September run by the college too which he attends two days a week at moment. Yes he gets frustrated when we can’t quite work out what he means, but his laughter is infection and his smile brightens everybody’s day. He is an amazing Christian he asked Jesus into his heart a few years ago was baptized at our Baptist church in the baptistry, he gave his testimony through his iPad communicator. Although it did take my husband and I a few weeks to understand what he was trying to say .I prayed God please let this be Kieron’s words and give us the ability to understand what he wants to say. He us amazing Christian and can teach other Christians about prayer as he will pray any where and at anytime and go into spontaneous pray if someone is upset, hurting or injured. So yes your five things you wrote that Hazel had taught you rang so true for us. I understood as a mother where you were coming from when you were told and although my son has Cerebral Palsy and epilepsy and has had to go through major surgery double hip reconstruction, 9 hr spinal surgery to straighten his back, a baclofen pump fitted to take baclofen a muscle relaxant straight into his spine. God has been with us through it all watching over us and our son. Made us stronger as a family although sometimes daily it may not feel it . Thank you again for your blog and article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sharon, thank you so much for taking the time to write and also for reading the article in Woman Alive. Your words made me so happy and resonated so much with my own experience. Kieron sounds like an extraordinary young man. His life is one of great and deep purpose and has value beyond that which can be measured. Thank you for sharing some of your experiences and precious memories of those early days with me.


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