Monday, March 25, 2013

Still swinging.

This is one of the most inspiring videos I've seen about someone with Down syndrome. I completely agree with Garrett's dad in allowing him to become a fighter. People with Down syndrome are people first. It's no secret that I became a teacher because of Judah for the exact same reasons Garret's dad mentioned. To make sure NO ONE gets in his way of the same opportunities as any other kid.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Just Like You!

Today is World Down Syndrome Day!  To celebrate and advocate I want to share this video with you:


Be a friend, and at the very least, please be kind and patient with the awesome buddies who have Down syndrome that are in your life!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Grateful.

When I look at my students, I am reminded of the gift they are to their families and those of us who have the privilege of educating them. Each one has added to my life in a positive way. I am also reminded that many children are terminated in the womb when their families find out they may be born with disabilities. For every kid with Down syndrome that is granted the right to live there are ten more that were not.

I support a person’s right to choose. However, I personally feel that abortion is a horrible choice. We were given the option to abort Judah when we found out he would probably be born with Down syndrome. I am thankful every single day we chose to accept the son God gave us. Every time I hear his little voice, see his big smile, and get a huge hug from him I am reminded that we made the right choice.

This is not a political rant, just a reminder to everyone facing a potentially challenging pregnancy and possibly having a child with disabilities. It is not the end of the world. It is challenging, but it is those challenges that form us and mold us to become better human beings. I will always support your right to choose, but never your right to terminate a beautiful child just because they are not your idea of perfection. These kids are my life, this is where I belong, and this world is a better place because their parents chose to keep them.




Thursday, March 7, 2013

Have a cry about it.

Judah has been doing great in school.  The benefit of teaching at the same school allows me to be completely immersed in his education.  I know where he's at and what he's doing at all times.  I also get to talk to his teachers on a daily basis if I need to.  Today his resource teacher sent me this video of my budge passing his first reading test.  He whispers many times when you ask him questions (and yells at many other inappropriate times... go figure).  In this video you can't really understand what he's saying, but he is sounding out letters the teacher is pointing to.  This is a giant step in readiness for reading.  He has been tracking left to right for a long time now and practicing his letter sounds. So this video is a huge encouragement for us involved in his life and education.


video

One of my hopes for Judah has always been proper communication.  I want him to talk and express himself.  I pray for it every night when I put him to bed.  Communication is something easily taken for granted.  Many people talk too much though and sometimes I wish the opposite were true.  But for my little dude, talking and expressing himself has not come easily.  Fortunately he loves books and technology.  So we use both to help him learn how to talk.

His resource teacher pointed something out to me today as I was sharing an incident.  The story is this: yesterday Judah crapped and pissed his pants in his classroom.  He hasn't done this in over a year.  This is the first time this school year.  I had to stay after school for a couple of hours to attend to planning, etc.  Judah comes to my class after school.  Usually he gets on a laptop or iPad.  I grounded him from technology for the remainder of the day because he shat his pants.  

He was obviously upset about it and kept asking me; "Da-ee! iPad? iPod? Cat? WewWee"" Translation: "Daddy can I use the iPad or iPod? How about Tom & Jerry? Can I watch that or another movie?"

To which I responded; "No, you pooped and peed your pants.  You are in trouble and cannot use the iPad or watch anything for the rest of the day,"

Not satisfied with this predicament, he continued for a while asking me the same questions.  Eventually he hovered behind me watching me working at my computer.  I told him to go find something to do like play with toys or read a book.  He slumped off and climbed up the loft in my classroom and quietly cried for a few minutes.  He eventually stopped crying, but he stayed up in the loft for the rest of the time, which had to have been at least another hour or so.

When we got home that evening, he told his mom and sisters: "Poopoo pants!" on his own accord.  Usually when we get home he knows to go poop and pee before he does anything else.  It's a schedule we follow.  Once he's taken care of business he can watch "Cat" (Tom & Jerry) or another "WewWee" (movie).  So he figured because he had already handled his toilet affairs in his pants earlier he might be able to go ahead and watch TV straight away at the house.  So of course he turns to me after delivering the news to the rest of the family and asks me "Daa-ee! Cat? WewWee?".  Of course he was told no and reminded again why.  It was almost his bedtime anyway.

So back to his resource teacher.  After sharing this story with her, she laughed and told me "Don't you see it!?  He's very intelligent. He was too occupied with the computer in his class to get up and go potty.  He knew what he was supposed to do but figured it was worth the risk to stay on the computer.  When you grounded him from technology he tried to find a soft spot or loop hole. His stubborn will pushed as far it could.  When he finally realized he wasn't going to get his way he had a good cry about it and sat up in the loft and processed the whole arrangement.  When he got home he reported the bad news to the rest of the family and tried one last time to see if you would give in and let him watch TV.  It's a hard life lesson for us as parents to follow through with, but it's one this little buddy fully understands.  Be encouraged!"

I am encouraged.  It's so nice to hear someone else's viewpoint because too often, as a parent, I get caught up in going through the motions and overlook the depth of what is really going on.  The point is this, my little dude is intelligent.  He's learning to communicate and express himself.  It's a slow process but thanks to his therapists and teachers we are seeing progress.  I just need to be reminded sometimes.  

Judah rules! And it's time for a haircut... 





Happy Saint Patrick's Day! We're Shipping Up To Boston!