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Helping My Nonverbal Son With Down Syndrome Forge His Own Identity

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The Dilemma On a cool winter day in San Diego, my wife and I are likely to disagree about what our 13-year-old son Bobby should wear to school.

She tends to feel the morning chill and so wants him bundled in a heavy jacket and hat. My temperature runs hotter so I see nothing wrong with sending him off bare-headed in a lighter cover.

In many families, the 13-year-old would be the tiebreaker, deciding for themselves how to dress. However, Bobby has Down syndrome and is largely nonverbal.

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