There are a lot of misconceptions about people with Down syndrome, with one of them being that they cannot make friends.This is definitely not true. Children who live with Downs may indeed have some difficulties when it comes to socializing, but this by no means is an indication that they won’t make friends growing up.
In fact, these children seek interaction with others, and they are laughing and tender people, who just need encouragement in order to develop social-emotional skills.One of those children is Charlie, who, not so long ago, made a new friend.Charlie’s mom, Allyson, started taking him with her grocery shopping in order to spend some fun time together, and for him to develop cognitive and social skills.
But she never expected that her son would make a friend at the grocery store.
When little Charlie was two years old, he enjoyed joining his mom at the weekly visit to the local Kroger store, but one day he met a special someone who would become his friend.
Erin, a bagger at the grocery store, knew that the little boy in front of her had Down syndrome right away.
“Erin was bagging our groceries,” Allyson told Humankind, “and she asked me if he has Down syndrome, and I said ‘Yes, he does” and she said ‘Well, so do I’.”
The woman immediately felt connected to the child. But the most amazing thing was that Charlie, too, felt connected to her as well.
The boy joined his mom to Krogers the week after, and Erin happened to be there again. Surprisingly, the two just picked up their relationship from where they had left it the previous time.
Since then, the boy and his mom go to the store every Tuesday in order to be sure that their favorite bagger will be there and chat with them.
The little boy really lightens up when he sees his new friend. Erin, too, can’t wait for Tuesdays to come in order to see the sweet little boy.
“The very first time that she asked if she could hold him,” Allyson says, “[I was] thinking ‘I’m gonna feel bad if he doesn’t want her to hold him’, but he was totally fine with it and smiled up at her.”
It seems that, as Allyson’s husband says, the two of them have a “chromie connection” and that is beautiful.
When Charlie goes to the grocery store, Erin always lets him help her bag groceries, while sometimes they take a spin around the aisles with Charlie in the cart.
Watching them have fun together is just heartwarming, and it also gives Charlie’s mom hope that her son will grow up to be an independent and skillful person. In Humankind’s video, she says:
“It’s inspiring to see [people with special needs] in the workplace, because that just proves to the rest of the world that they can do that, too.”
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