A Nova Scotia father has received overwhelming support around the world after an emotional video of him defending his son’s Down syndrome went viral.
Robb Scott, from Truro, was inspired to film the short clip after he overheard a conversation between a father and son in a video store. The other man said Down syndrome is “an illness of not knowing anything.”
Scott, whose five-year-old son Turner has Down syndrome, didn’t say anything to the duo. “I heard that voice in my head say, ‘Tell them what it is,’ and I didn’t,” the 41-year-old explained. “I let that ignorance grow in another generation and failed my son in the process.”
As a way to “karmically reset what just happened,” Scott then filmed a video in his car in defense of children with Down syndrome everywhere.
“Down syndrome is literally one of the most beautiful things that's ever happened in my life,” he said, welling up with tears. “It's fun, it's brilliant, it's amazing, it's funny, it’s kind, it's loving, it's cuddly. They're great teachers, people with Down syndrome. It's not an illness. It's not even a disability.”
"Disabilities are perception. I believe people are teachers and learners. We're both. We have the ability to teach things and we're here to learn things. And a well-educated man does not have more to teach than my son. He has different things to teach, but he does not have more to teach. His knowledge is not more valuable."
Since the five-minute clip was posted on Saturday, it has received over 1.1 million views. The video also racked up over 2,000 comments from parents around the world offering their support and sharing similar experiences.
"[Down syndrome is] fun, it's brilliant, it's amazing, it's funny, it’s kind, it's loving, it's cuddly. It's not an illness. It's not even a disability."
“Thank you Scott, we are in intensive care today with our son with Down syndrome, he is 16. You did not fail, you stepped up for all of us and we love you and Turner inherently and more so for your wisdom and courage,” one said.
“Just found out my little baby girl has downs so thank u so much for this video!” another commented. “It really helps me see her as the kind sweet loving beautiful little girl I know she's going to be!”
Another simply wrote: “Best definition of Down syndrome I have ever heard. Amazing Dad too, Thank you.”
Although the dad-of-two posted the video to correct misconceptions about children with Down syndrome, he clarified to CBC that the video was not intended to judge the father who inspired it.
“I'm not judgmental that way,” he said. “I understand, because I didn't have a clue what Down syndrome was before my son was born. I looked at it the same way and I probably would have said the same thing.”
Since his son Turner was born, Scott says he has learned invaluable lessons from him.
“If you want my son to teach you how to be the CEO of a business, it's not going to happen,” the dad told CBC. “He's not going to be a world-class runner. But if lessons of love and caring and acceptance and honesty are important to you, there is no better teacher. He had taught me so much.”
According to Metro News, Scott was not expecting such a huge response from his video. The dad told the news site, “This has reached way beyond Down Syndrome. What I did was in the moment. It was very reactional. I wasn’t trying to be an advocate, I was just putting it out there. It is obviously reaching people.”
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