Friday, October 1, 2010

31 for 21 Day 1: Down Syndrome Awareness Month

If anyone has any questions about Down syndrome or about Sweet Pea in general, please post them and I will make sure to answer them during the month.

And now, for the first entry in the 4th Annual 31 for 21 Blog Challenge...this isn't a very creative start, but I really like what some other moms have posted today and so I thought I would do a compilation of their posts.  It seems like a good way to kick off the month since this is supposed to be about Down Syndrome Awareness and not just Sweet Pea.  However, many posts will be about Sweet Pea as she is what our lives revolve around...not Down syndrome.  I can't believe how many of the blogs that I follow are doing this challenge!  I think it is wonderful and I know that I will have to re-post a variety of their postings because these are some amazing moms!

From Adrienne at Our Unexpected Journey:  I'm not too sensitive about some of this as it is a learning process for many of us, but I thought it was a good reminder that we really do need to remember to put the child first.  Bennett is her son and I didn't feel it was right to replace him with Sweet Pea since this was her post.
  • When referring to a child with special needs, please put the special need after the child. So instead of saying he is a Down syndrome child or Down syndrome baby, you could simply say he has Down syndrome or Bennett has Down syndrome or "hey that baby has Down syndrome" NOT "hey there's a Down syndrome baby." I don't know why but when hearing someone say my child is "Down's" or "is a Down syndrome child" it totally makes me cringe. Because, Bennett is so much more than just having Down syndrome. He's a little boy first and he happens to have Down syndrome.
  • Children with Down syndrome most often reach milestones later than typical kids (not normal kids, typical kids-remember, my son is normal too!!;)) because of their low muscle tone. So it shouldn't be a surprise that Bennett may not walk until he's 2 or later. Now you can see why we make such a big deal when he reaches those little milestones and big milestones because yes, it can seem like an eternity to do them but that's okay;)!
  • Lastly, I hope you would encourage your children to play with children that have special needs {if they have a chance} because not only does it help the child with special needs (not to mention their mommy that so badly wants them to have typical peers too;)) but your child will learn compassion, patience and acceptance just by playing with someone that may need a little help. Don't we all want our kids to be kind, compassionate and patient??

From Stephanie at Our Daily Smiles
My daughter will turn two... gulp, this month and I have spent the last two years learning about her and her incredibly interesting extra chrom. I've learned medical facts up the wazoo! I've learned all about the "stats" The expected age of accomplishments.   I've learned all about Speech Therapy and OT and PT and Food clinics. I'm learning about schools and sign language and Music Therapy.  I've read books and talked to doctors and researched until I was dizzy.

And  do you know what the most important thing I found out was? It was the one thing I didn't learn from all the medical info or the stats that I felt the need to memorize or any session with her PT, OT or ST.  I didn't learn it from a book or a doctors office, and I definitely didn't learn it from researching on the Internet.

I learned the most important thing about Down syndrome from my daughter Emilia Faith . She taught me that after all is said and done, she's just a kid. She's just like any other little girl. 
She plays and laughs. She sleeps and poops. imagine that!  She loves to look at herself in the mirror, she loves to be outside, and of course TV, rocks! She listens to music and can keep a beat. She hugs and kisses her baby doll. She loves to eat, Tacos are her favorite along with any kind of pie. If you have an Oreo you'd better hide it, or she will stalk you until your pinned against a wall and have no choice but to hand it over. Her new favorite pass time is bouncing a ball. It simply puts her in hysterics.

She also knows how to throw a whopper of a tantrum, expects her way all the time and has a cheesy smile she saves for special occasions. She hears the word 'NO" at least 100 times a day, and acknowledges maybe one or two of them.    

If you read this any where else you would say to yourself, "sounds like a typical two year old to me". 

Well that's exactly what she is. You see they 're not going to tell you that when they hand you a diagnosis of Ds.

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