Down Syndrome — 5 Minutes for Special Needs — Page 2

Down Syndrome

Public- or Home-School? That’s the Question!

Kindergarten Graduation

You might have read that we played hooky from Summer School this year.  As a result of that post, a few parents of children with special needs have congratulated me on my first–but perhaps not last–foray into home schooling. I’ve got mixed feelings about this… See, I’ve always been a proponent of the public school system… right up until I had kids and realized that my distaste for the Bell Curve method applied to pretty much anything detracts from individualized instruction and separates the outliers from the typical. Not a very inclusionary attitude. 

I grew up an inclusionist–surrounded by, and accepting of, people with special needs.

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Playin’ Hooky From Summer School

Four weeks into Summer school — aka: Extended School Year (ESY) — and I’ve only brought The Boys in for 2 1/2 days.  Bad Mama? OR, Bad Mama!

Our contained class experience this past year included My Boys’ adopting some negative behaviors from a few of their peers with special needs.  As such, I’ve been working this Summer to extinguish that unwanted behavior!  Our contained class experience this past year excluded significant academic gains as the class was very focused on socialization… something My Boys already excel in.   Again, I’ve been working to advance their academic skills at home this Summer. 

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Three Little Fishies in an Itty Bitty Pool

We've Retired our Life Vests!

104 degrees!  Luckily, I have a nice, little, hard-walled backyard pool — 15′ round by 3 1/2′ deep — that we put up and take down every year.  And every year, Sarge wants to set it up at the curb instead of in our yard.  He hates our little pool!  He wants a BIG, semi-in-ground pool.  Yeah, me too!  But we have The Boys and their love of water and lack of swimming prowess to consider.  So the little pool goes up again every year, 4 feet from the kitchen sliders.  And the kids jump in and LOVE IT again every year, even if the Sarge doesn’t! 

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Time to Reboot!

I’ve been MIA due to a viral infection.  Thankfully, not my kids or me.  This time, it was Dell, my darling laptop! Timing is NEVER good for this sort of thing.  I was in the process of redesigning The Boys’ discreet trial curriculum, writing out my blue-sky-scenario for our encore performance of kindergarten and investigating the pros and cons of homeopathic and, comparitively, medicinal interventions for children with ADD when the virus just got the better of her and she seized up.  Mercifully, the computer doc made a housecall and opted to admit her [to his workshop].  Like the grinch, he promised to return her in good health. 

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Birthday Parties

We want our children to be invited.  We are sad if they are left out.  But as Peanut gets older, the birthday parties are getting longer and more intense.

For example, Peanut has been invited to three former classmate’s birthday parties for June.  I assume all these children are turning 7 but some could be turning 6.  Peanut is 6 but in some ways developmentally she is 3 or 4.  These birthday parties consist of:

  1. Pool party at the child’s home (2 hours)
  2. Campout party at the child’s home (3 hours)
  3. Another pool party but at a recreation center (2.5 hours)

I know I’ll take Peanut to all of these parties, but I can’t help but wonder how she’s going to do. 

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The Lost Voice

This morning when I dropped Peanut off for school I realized I didn’t have her iPod Touch.  She uses her iPod touch to communicate at school and over the last several months it has been a great way for her to participate in class.  This isn’t the first time I have not had her “voice” when I took her to school, but those other times I was sure she had left it at school.  Today, however was different.  I was pretty sure it had come home with her.

Since I wasn’t going straight into work today, I came home to look for her voice. 

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MAY 6 SEMINAR: Meeting the Educational Needs of Children with Down Syndrome


1-day Seminar THIS Friday, May 6 @ Queens College, Flushing, NY

Meeting the Educational Needs of Children with Down Syndrome

Amazing Opportunity to see Dr. Sue Buckley, Researcher with Down Syndrome
Education International, present the best practices in educating children
with Down syndrome at Queens College. Dr. Buckley is an internationally 
reknowned expert on research-based best practices in educating children
with Down syndrome.


65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing, NY

10AM Keynote: Evidence-based practice:

What does research tell us about the specific language and

 learning needs of children with Down syndrome?

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Our Role & words hurt

So I was thinking, draw 3 circles on a piece of paper.  One inside the other, so really you have 3 cirles around each other(as pictured)
The inner circle is our children, this is their culture of being a child with special needs.
The middle circle is us, the parents.  We’re not in the same circle as our kids because we’ll never fully understand what it’s like to be in that inner circle.  Even if, as parents, we have special needs.  We understand that as individuals, things have changed and are not the same for our children as it was for us in our younger days.
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Neighborhood Friends

One of the things I love about our neighborhood is all the kids on the street.  It’s reminiscent of when I was a kid and would run the neighborhood from morning till dusk, riding my bike or roller skating or playing a neighborhood game of hide and seek.

True things are a little different now.  My kids don’t really leave our street which limits the bike riding, but it’s a quiet street and they can run from house to house playing games or hanging out on swingsets.  However, I’ve never really been able to let Peanut run with the others without some sort of adult supervision. 

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A Typical Growing Up Moment?

Happy belated Passover & Happy Easter to those who celebrate these beautiful traditions. I wish you all peace in the world, in your homes and in your hearts!

This isn’t just another post about potty-training, per se.  It’s an OMG they’re growing up post about the challenges of being potty-trained-ISH and independent toileting.

Last Thursday, Grandma and I took my 3 children and my friend’s 2 children to the Queens Zoo.  It’s a quaint little zoo with one continuous walking path so you don’t have to pick and choose your sights or worry as much about losing your kids… everything is along the way. 

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