Down syndrome

Book Review: Gifts

Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives is a collection of stories edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper that portrays the lives of mothers caring for their children with Down syndrome. 

I Need Her

It is 2:00 am when the cell phone vibrates under my pillow reminding me to get up. In a swift motion I swing my legs around and glide out of bed, barely moving the covers. My husband sleeps soundly and so does my one-week-old baby, Nichole, who sleeps propped up in her car seat in our room. I pause at the door and stare at her small shadow. Slowly I turn and exit the room, closing the bedroom door behind me. It is time.

Avoidance Parenting -- Are You Out Enough?

I am a multi-faceted Mommy. If my job were likened to a circus act, I would most certainly be a juggler… who juggles angry rattle snakes… while riding a motorcycle… on a trapeze. Yes -- that would be me up there. You can be my audience. I’ll try not to drop a snake on you.

June Cleaver I am Not

There are many, many times I feel I am a substandard mom, and I hold June Cleaver personally responsible. Well, her, Carol Brady, Marion Cunningham, Cliff & Clair Huxtable, Elyse and Steven Keaton and maybe even Marge Simpson.

Different, Not Less

I saw this quote the other day and thought about how it applies to my daughter Kayla, who has Down syndrome, and people who have disabilities. The quote is "Different, not less."

Pushing the Limits

As a pediatric nurse practitioner, I remember frequently telling my parents that they know their children better than I ever will.  Now, as a mother of a little girl with Down syndrome, I know that to be true.  I will always know my daughter better than any doctor, therapist, or teacher.  I know what my daughter is capable of.  

Music & Special Needs: Cooper Plays the Piano

Ten-year-old Cooper is teaching his twin brother to play Hot Cross Buns on the piano. Cooper, who has Down syndrome, has been playing the piano since he was 8 ½ years old.  I ask him how his brother is doing. Cooper says: “I showed him how to use three fingers to play Hot Cross Buns. He is doing okay.”  There is a proud smile on his face.  His mother says: "Cooper has always been the one who holds back with his brother in the lead, but now he is the leader, and it is so nice to see the confidence building that has occurred."  

Teen with Down Syndrome Wows Basketball Team

David Andrews, age 18, wears number 40 on the Germantown High School basketball team, just outside of Memphis, TN. Much like the Knick’s Jeremy Lin, Andrews spent quite a bit of time warming the bench during his team’s games before ever getting to play in one.

Andrews has Down syndrome, and his mother had asked coach Wes Crump if her son could join the team his brother was already on. She thought maybe he could get a sweat suit and hang out with the other players on the bench. But Andrews soon proved that he had much more to offer the team. 

Take a True Vacation with Autism on the Seas

Imagine taking a vacation with the whole family--a real vacation. And on that vacation, parents can rekindle their relationship, siblings can go on adventures, and kids with special needs can be themselves and have fun doing things like ice skating or going to a pool party with new friends. Autism on the Seas is a unique company offering vacations just like this to individuals and families living with special needs.

Protecting Marriage When Your Child Has ASD

For years, parents of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have mistakenly passed along the erroneous statistic that 80% of marriages of such parents will end in divorce. This myth also has been perpetuated by professionals and the media. As described in a recent large scale research study by Hartley and her colleagues (2010), there is a relatively higher rate of divorce when compared to families with typical children; however, the majority of marriages remain intact. Certainly, there is more to strive for in a marriage than simply not getting divorced.