Web sites are mocking a doll designed to help children.
The Internet is a dangerous place, especially if you're a Down syndrome doll. We came across downsyndromedolls.com, a site with specially designed dolls that resemble children born with the genetic disorder Down syndrome, only because it was being ridiculed online by other web sites mocking the appearance of the dolls with comments like:
"Just remember you're going to hell for about a billion other reasons, so laugh it up checking out these dolls."
"Who wouldn't laugh or cringe at this, what were they thinking???!"
"I'm not sure what is more disturbing, the fact that these dolls look like Cabbage Patch Kids or the atrocious outfits."
Not so nice.
The dolls are truly are different.They include a flatter face, upward slanting eyes, and a somewhat larger tongue. According to the site they are available in "open & closed mouth versions." Their appearance may be initially startling, until you realize it gives the approximately 5,000 kids in the U.S. born each year with Down syndrome a chance to have a doll that even slightly resembles them.
Counselor and momlogic contributor Rosanne Tobey, LPC was also dismayed at the reaction of the public. "This idea is the very basis for the American Doll. Why should it be any different for special needs kids? Web sites that mock these dolls are appalling, but unfortunately there is no limit to the ignorance, cruelty, and just plain stupidity of some people."
Other dolls for special needs children are also becoming more readily available. Now, parents can find chemo dolls--without hair-- for children with cancer, and Cairdeas dolls, which are given hand-sewn surgical stitches to create "a scar exactly like its child friend." There are even amputee dolls and dolls with wheelchairs and crutches.
For any little boy or girl who craves a doll that "looks just like me!" we can only hope the Down syndrome doll Web site and other sites like it will continue to prosper.