Connect Connect With Us }
Read Our Blogs

Did you do it? Did you rock out with your socks out? Did you wear your crazy socks to raise awareness for World Down Syndrome Day?

I did not; I decided to wear my plain white socks, just like I do every day.

Why?

I was not thrilled with the idea of wearing such different attire that causes a person to stand out from another. I do love the idea of raising Down Syndrome Awareness but not this way. The Down syndrome community has always talked about and advocated for those blessed with Down syndrome to be treated just like everybody else, to be included rather than be excluded.

So what do we do, we have a day where we call attention to how different we are from others. How our socks make us stand out and create curious looks. Does this support the idea of inclusion or rather does it continue to show that those with Down syndrome stand out from others and deserve curious looks?

Last year we were more alike than different. We celebrated the success and belief that those with Down syndrome are just like you and me.

This year we take a huge step backwards and say….

“We are more different than alike”

Published in everyday life
Sunday, 28 October 2012 09:57

Grab all they can

We knew this day was coming.

It’s not like we hadn’t been warned.

We had been warned and had experienced it a couple times before, thanks to Emma and Brady.

Though sometimes I did wonder if this day would ever come.

That day is here…..

The day that nothing on the couch or other areas within standing/reaching distance is safe from the grabbing hands of a little Miss Carly!

She pulls herself up on the couch and reaches, grabs, and tugs at anything her hands make contact with.  Most of the time it’s some type of magazine or perhaps a page or two of Brady’s school work.

Though one time it was MJ’s breakfast bowl and a spoon as well, apparently Miss Carly did not want to wait for her own breakfast, which was warming up in the kitchen.

The poor TV remote has been victimized multiple times as Miss Carly loves to grab it and then toss it behind her back.

Not only can she pull herself to grab items, she now has the ability to “walk” down the length of the couch and hunt down any and all other items she can find.

As Depeche Mode once sang “The grabbing hands grab all they can”

So while the couch is no longer a Carly free zone, you will not find a single member of the family who is disappointed by it.

Published in everyday life
Monday, 08 October 2012 21:37

Brace yourself!

Miss Carly has braces, for her shoes, which will help learn how to walk.  She has been walking, with assistance, around the house and at school.  She is slowly getting the hang of it but still has problems staying upright as she wants to fall right down on her tushy.

Everything looks good as she takes each step.  Her left leg initially turned in a lot, however; she is making progress and the turn is not as noticeable. 

She is also using her braces to pull herself upright on the edge of the couch and she is able to move side to side down the length of the couch.

Before you know it, she will be walking around and chasing the cat around the house!

Looking forward to having her walk the Buddy Walk, next year, rather than cruise the course in her stroller.

 

Published in everyday life
Sunday, 07 October 2012 02:04

Can you hear me?

“Can you hear me?”

“Can you hear me?”  I whisper behind Carly’s left shoulder.

No response.

“Can you hear me?”  This time I say it a little louder and a bit further away.

She swivels her head and gives me a big smile.

Not bad hearing for a little girl who is supposedly has no hearing in her left ear, at least that’s what the doctor says.

It is hard, as a parent, to not get caught up in what the medical world says about what your child can or cannot do.

I know that Carly has major hearing loss in her left ear and it may or may not be corrected by placing a tube into her left ear canal.  She had them in both ears but somehow the left one decided to come out without us knowing.

I also believe that she will hear every word I say.

I wonder if this is me and my positive view on life or I am being naïve about the fact that my daughter may not hear me at all.

Do I start to learn more and more sign language so that I can communicate with her if she does have hearing loss?

Or do I continue to be positive and use my voice and words to communicate with her?

The more I think about it, the more I realize that the best way is both ways.  I need to learn more sign so that I am not limiting the ability for Carly and I to talk.  And I most continue to use my words and voice so that she can understand how much her Daddy loves her.

Published in everyday life
Sunday, 16 September 2012 04:51

The five senses: Taste

The five senses:                               “Taste”

Do you know that there are all kinds of foods that mix with different flavors of applesauce?

We had no idea until Miss Carly decided to get on an applesauce kick.

We have mixed applesauce with cottage cheese, which is normal. 

And we have mixed it with Macaroni and Cheese, not so normal; along with a wide variety of foods including different types of pasta, oatmeal, and beef and veggies (that combo looks very unappealing when mixed together).

Mind you, this is not just plain applesauce; the above culinary delights have been created with cherry applesauce, mixed berry applesauce, cinnamon applesauce, and a combination of all kinds of applesauce.

Though the combination of applesauce and any type of food may not be visually appealing and smells a little bad too, it has not stopped Carly from eating all of her food and working on her chewing skills as well.

Do you know of any other types of weird combinations that you kids might currently love or have loved in the past?

And does anybody know of anything else that mixes well with applesauce?

Published in everyday life
Sunday, 19 August 2012 06:49

Five Senses: Touch

Her hand reaches out slowly to touch the tree leaf.

She gets close and then pulls her hand back as she giggles.

She reaches out again and gets closer this time; she starts to pull back, and then decides to go for it and reaches out and touches the leaf.

Her giggles fill the air and she touches another leaf.

Now that the leaf has been conquered it is on to the tree bark and the bumps, dips, and the rough surface it brings along with more giggles.

As Miss Carly goes out and about exploring her world one of the things we have been working on is developing her five senses.  I have found that tree’s, leaves, and flower petals are some of her favorite things to touch.  Each has their own texture, feel, and way they dance in the breeze.

I know that someday, Miss Carly will climb trees, pick flowers, and conquer more than just tree leaves.  I look forward to hearing her giggles each and every time.

Published in development
Sunday, 19 August 2012 06:45

The fives senses: Touch

Her hand reaches out slowly to touch the tree leaf.

She gets close and then pulls her hand back as she giggles.

She reaches out again and gets closer this time; she starts to pull back, and then decides to go for it and reaches out and touches the leaf.

Her giggles fill the air and she touches another leaf.

Now that the leaf has been conquered it is on to the tree bark and the bumps, dips, and the rough surface it brings along with more giggles.

As Miss Carly goes out and about exploring her world one of the things we have been working on is developing her five senses.  I have found that tree’s, leaves, and flower petals are some of her favorite things to touch.  Each has their own texture, feel, and way they dance in the breeze.

I know that someday, Miss Carly will climb trees, pick flowers, and conquer more than just tree leaves.  I look forward to hearing her giggles each and every time.

Published in everyday life
Tuesday, 31 July 2012 19:12

Always protect her

“Are Carly and I always going to go to the same school?” Brady asked.

“Why?” I replied.

“Because I always want to be able to protect her!” Brady replied.

“Protect her from what?” I asked.

“From mean people.” Brady said

Two thoughts crossed my mind. Carly has a cool older brother who wants to make sure she is safe and sound each and every school day.  The second thought was he is right there are mean people out there who are going to want to pick on Carly each and every day.

How sad is it that there are people in the world who do not know how to act around someone with a disability so their natural reaction is to pick on them?  Because someone is just a bit different, it is okay to abuse them verbally abuse (or worse) them each and every day?

This is something that I will never understand.

I know it is not something that I can fix so it never happens to Carly, however; I am proud that Carly has a brother who wants to make sure he is there to protect her each and every day.

Published in everyday life
Sunday, 08 July 2012 22:43

Most likely to succeed

Class of ’89 “Most Likely to Succeed”  -- Yep, that was me.

Back then I had a much different view of success then I do today.  Back then success was defined as power, money, and intelligence.  To give you an idea, I wanted to be a CEO of a Fortune 10 company or an investment banker those were my career aspirations.

Fast forward some 20+ years and my life is quite different then I imagined.  I made 1 out of 3 of myself defined “success” goals (Intelligence and always wanting to learn more) but have not hit the six figure salary mark nor am I a CEO of a Fortune 10 company.

However, I am an extremely successful Father who has a lovely wife and three amazing kids. 

I am successful in raising a child who is blessed with an extra chromosome when sadly many fathers would walk away or suggest terminating the pregnancy.

I am successful because I write a blog and also post here, to hopefully help other parents who go through the same challenges and share the same successes as I do.

I am successful because I cherish my time with my family while trying to maintain a favorable life/work balance.

I am successful because I love my family and what I have become.

I am successful because there is no one else I would rather be.

You are successful because there is no one in the world who is just like you.

Published in everyday life
Wednesday, 04 July 2012 21:02

Development at the beach

The beach is the perfect place for fun and development.

  1. Fun to splash and feel the water/waves against the body.
  2. Sand so crunchy and all different types of textures.
  3. Seaweed, tough to grasp, works on hand eye coordination.
  4. Seagulls, a new sound to listen to and helps the eyes by tracking the seagull’s flight.
  5. Diaper full of sand, neat storage area to take the beach home with Carly.

Most of all, time to hang out with the family and love and enjoy life.

Published in development
Page 1 of 4
Dandelion is a free quarterly magazine that serves as a resource for Bay Area and Sacramento families of children with special needs: autism and Asperger’s, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, those who are blind, deaf, in wheelchairs, learning disorders, sensory issues and every special need in between. Dandelion’s mission is to create and empower a community of local families through a variety of media by providing a database of resources, trusted and thought-provoking editorial content, an up-to-date calendar of special needs-specific events, noteworthy news, as well as contributions to the community.