Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

A No Laughing Matter

on August 19, 2015

Have you missed us??

We are back – and tonight, bringing an important public service announcement.

Let’s start with this: I laugh loudly, and a lot.  It’s genetic, really.

It’s unfortunate that with her extra chromosomal material, Tessa didn’t pick up that loud laugh… It would be built-in therapy.

We’ve brought this up before, how Tessa bursts into tears at the sound of adult laughter.  It’s been on my mind recently because we have a family trip to Kentucky coming up and like I said, the laughing loud thing?  It’s genetic.

It’s kind of a troubling issue you see, because we are all laughers and boy, does a crying child dampen the mood.

Now that I have tripled my commute time each day, I have lots of time to think.  Nothing particularly earth shattering has come out of this deep thought, believe me.  Mostly I just wrestle with whether I should stop to quench my undying sweet tooth after a long day at work (hellooooo Oreo Coolata).  But I digress.  I’ve actually been thinking some about the laughing.  I’m not Tessa’s therapist, but I know my girl, and I want to share some ways that you, dear family and friends, can help us help Tessa.

1. Tessa is learning to live in a world where there are adults who laugh and screaming toddlers and the whole gamut of unsettling noises.  Do not censor yourself.  We need her to learn to deal with her emotions.  She will, in time.  The last thing anyone wants is to see all the fun go down the toilet!

Remember this?  

2.  It really helps if, after you laugh, you avoid eye contact. You may think I’m crazy, but how many time have you seen a kid fall down and not actually cry until an adult gives that ‘look’?

3.  Never, ever (EVER) feel bad about her crying when you laugh. It’s not you, it’s her. And that’s ok. It’s ok for her to have this issue and it’s ok for you to laugh. And to be honest, when you feel bad, we feel bad and uncomfortable and it just makes everything feel a lot worse than it needs to. So even if you do feel bad, just pretend that you don’t.

4. Did I mention the “no eye contact” thing?  It seems to help with #3.

5. Know that as her parents, John and I have got this.  Sometimes people like to help by making suggestions, or trying to problem solve, or commiserating, but it can be exhausting.  Between her therapists and our support groups, we’ve got the tools that we need to help her process.  We need time, and we need people to know that if she needs a break, trust us, we’re on it. 

So, to recap, your job is to laugh.  Please, please, laugh.  We’ve got this.

Maybe these will bring some chuckles?




One response to “A No Laughing Matter

  1. Judy Lay says:

    Hahahaha! Okay. I will just pretend for now and continue to hahahaha! I know you two are on the case!

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