I love Elise. I am sure that by now you have seen this. I just wanted to clarify this before I write this one.
Elise is no angel. For one, I'm pretty sure that angels don't hit people and spit at them on a regular basis. I am also very secure in the fact that if someone is afraid of an angel it isn't because they are fearing a kick in the teeth.
If Elise is rough in her showing of affection (her "drive-by hugs" will just about unseat all but the burliest of men), then she is pretty stringent in her showing of disapproval. There will be ABSOLUTELY NO QUESTION if she dislikes something.
I have a somewhat "off" take on the use of "retarded", and I also take issue with the generalization that all people with Down Syndrome are loving, mild-mannered, long-suffering, "angels". (I can be taken out back and shot later...) But my baby girl could not pass as an angel unless she was asleep. I'm serious. I adore her and treasure what she has shown me, and I truly believe that she has brought real-live angels into my life, but pardon me if I insist that list does not include her.
Elise is on the green light at school on Mondays, apparently refreshed coming off of the weekend...and then the behavior chart takes a nose dive...Yellow, to Orange, to Red. Her teachers added Orange to the behavior chart because Elise was blowing through it too fast...and they wanted her to have more chance at success. (More on that another day!)
If we as parents don't want the negative stereotypes applied to our kiddies, I would like to add the "positive" stereotypes may not apply either. They're just kids after all! They are all different. They may have blue eyes or brown, they may look like their mama or their daddy...They may show one or many of the physical manifestations of their diagnoses. They may love princesses or baseball...
They are not angels or monsters...they are just kids...