I really loved the documentary Monica & David which screened at the HotDocs film festival last weekend. The documentary followed Monica and David who have Down Syndrome through their first year of marriage.
M&D were so genuinely sweet and loving, I was pretty much in tears during the entire film. It was remarkable to see how well they were able to take care of themselves despite their intellectual disability. I felt as though they were absoluely capable of being autonomous although their parents were highly protective and quite fearful of letting them have greater levels of independence. Case in point, Monica's parents accompanied M&D on their honeymoon! I could empathize with the parents' concerns, however, it was evident that M&D just wanted to be like a 'regular' married couple, who could live on their own, earn a livelihood and even have a child. The latter was the most contentious issue as the parents felt that M&D were like children themselves -- how could they then provide care for a baby?
The film raised a really important issue -- When do parents need to "let go", even if their child has a disability?
One of the most heart-warming features of the film was that individuals with Down's share many of the same dreams and aspirations as most of us. The one stark difference is that there is no pretense with them. They are so innocent and genuine -- what you see is what you get -- they wear their hearts on their sleeves. And truly, what BIG, loving hearts they have!