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Here Are Links to the Huffington Post Blogs

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 Pros and Cons of Sharing Online

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

“The Ring” and the Stories Around It

  “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

School Choices Pt 2 – Choosing The Madonna School

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

Welcome

Mardra&MarcusAt 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,

Mardra Sikora



Grown ups and downs

Grown ups and downs

Mother Nature gives, most of the time, about 9 months to prepare for a baby. Still, I had only a bassinet and a few baby blankets in preparation of my son’s birth.

The march of time gives us 21 years before our children are considered “adult.” My son is nearly 23 years old. He has Down syndrome and I may yet figure out “the system,” for better and worse.

For now we have 23 years of stories to tell and new lessons to learn every day. Join us out of curiosity, empathy, research. It’s all good.

We’re here to share and show that the lessons are more special than the needs...read more

The Innocent Prince

and other fiction...

Explore Carmus the Island Kingdom. Visit the Garden of Eden. Journey into the not –to-distant future where the value of life is predetermined by…

Sometimes there’s only time for something short, something you can read in a flash. Or poetry.

Enter the world of the fairies that, “…blossoms in green hues that begin as light as the daybreak and soon deepen to support the spectrum of color covering the land.”

Wait quietly under the willow tree anticipating the invisible storm, wait longingly to feel your pages turned, daydream a hero’s beginning and a hero’s end. Meet a story-teller, a healer, an orphan, a duke -

Words from all of these worlds come out from the shadows when you sign in to follow The Innocent Prince and other fiction....read more