You Can Say A Lot To Parents Of A Child With Down Syndrome. Here’s One Thing To Avoid.

"The following contains inappropriate language."

The most offensive word you could say to a parent of a baby with Down syndrome isn't at all profane. In fact, in other contexts, it's a perfectly sweet thing to say.

That verboten word is "sorry."


The nonprofit Canadian Down Syndrome Society has released a new PSA titled "The S Word" — listing all the appropriate reactions to any of the 9,363 births of babies with Down syndrome in North America this year, as well as the one big no-no.

Be advised: This video is absolutely saturated with obscenities! We haven't seen individuals with Down syndrome portrayed quite this foul-mouthed on TV before, but these PSA participants are dropping F-bombs for a good cause. That's the level of excitement all of us should exhibit, really— because these childbirths are good news. The clip also demonstrates through the vulgar language just how offensive "sorry" can be.

A reminder: the clip below features NSFW language.

"You're supposed to be celebrating," the participants say in the video, released just in time for Canadian Down Syndrome Awareness Week. "Don't be sorry about a baby, be happy. Because every baby deserves a warm fucking welcome!"

Thanks to how ad agency FCB Canada leveraged Google AdWords, this Anything But Sorry initiative will rank among the first results when Google users search for queries such as "What do you say to parents who just had a baby with Down syndrome?"

"In talking to parents of children with Down syndrome, a recurring and devastating theme kept emerging," FCB Canada Co-Chief Creative Officer Nancy Crimi-Lamanna, told AdFreak. "[We heard] stories of how traumatizing the reaction towards the birth of their child was. Whether they had chosen to have the baby or it was a surprise, the reactions from family, friends and even healthcare providers was the same — a heartfelt 'sorry.' For many, this feeling of mourning, loss and sadness is their most prominent birth memory."

"As a parent, I was deeply saddened," Crimi-Lamanna continued. "Can you imagine mourning the birth of your child? Our strategy was to change the behavior around this very specific moment in time by showing people that when it comes to welcoming a new baby with Down syndrome, the only bad word they can say is sorry."

At, you can even send an e-card with the same profanely happy reactions these babies deserve — or you can order a printed card, with proceeds going to the CDSS. (Our favorite? "Merde! C'est un bébé!")


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