Hello Friends, Here we go! How My Son Chooses to Teach Down Syndrome Awareness As only Marcus can, he taught the kids (and me) while we toured in October. This has been my dilemma as Marcus and I have met each new group. Should we talk about Down syndrome? And to what extent? It is, […].. read more
The Message that The Internet is Forever… Yesterday I met a mother whose middle son died by suicide. She bravely shared about his life cut short because of two bad decisions. At some point last year he took an inappropriate picture and shared it, privately. When that picture became public, after being tormented with the possibility […].. read more
“Melissa loved to sit quietly in her room and write down her innermost thoughts and feelings.” Her sister, Laura, told me. I never knew Melissa, but I relate. I relate because of how as a teenager I, too, wrote to let the words comfort me and help carve my sense of place in the […].. read more
So we left off last blog at the impasse between the public school system and me when Marcus was not yet 5 years old. What happened next is someone told me about a local school for special needs students called the Madonna School. “OK. We’ll look into it.” In 1995 we toured the school, a small converted church in Benson, desperate for an option…We were greeted by book pages covering the principal’s floor. He apologized for the disarray, explaining he was creating the 40 odd math syllabuses for the nearly 50 students. “Wait-” I said. “You don’t force everyone into three peg-hole options?” Marcus was only five years old and I already displayed battle fatigue from our public school experiences. The idea of school staff being on the same team as Marcus, of our educating and preparing him together to face the world-that concept created hope. .. read more
At 7 months pregnant, there came a night when I woke up in terrible pain. I climbed into our stick-shift car, which I did not know how to drive, and started down the road. It wasn’t pretty and probably didn’t sound too good, the car either, but we (the car and I) got to the hospital in time for me to pass out in a wheelchair just inside the emergency room doors. That was nearly 23 years ago.
Two months later I gave birth to a beautiful boy and I still find myself winging it.
My son has grown up to be an amazing young man. He loves his job, attends acting classes, hopes to put his own musical on Broadway, and doesn’t seem to mind that he has an extra chromosome in his DNA.
I didn’t know how to raise a child with Down syndrome any more than I knew how to drive a stick-shift. But we’ve cruised through the years, pushed over a few roadblocks and taken several detours. We’ve learned many lessons that have been more special than the needs.
The stories from the early years and the joys and challenges of today are featured in the Grown Ups & Downs blog. Check out some of the resources and on-line friends we’ve made. Wander back to the middle-ages and meet a special Prince from the forthcoming novel The Innocent Prince. And, of course, join the conversation on any of our social plugins.
See you soon,