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Gifts : Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives

The Gifts Outreach program provides complimentary copies of Gifts to organizations which serve parents facing a new diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child, either prenatally or postnatally. We believe that the stories in the book provide a vital companionship and support for such parents.

2008 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA): Gold Award

2008 Mom's Choice Awards: Silver Recipient, Special & Exceptional Needs

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Patrick Thibideau just happens to have Down syndrome, and scores!

Nash saw Patrick on the Today Show this morning. It was quite fun watching Nash watch Patrick, another boy with Down syndrome who loves to play basketball. Nash yelled DOWN SYNDROME ROCKS! Its so nice to have mentors for Nash to watch shoot and score, just like he does in the 2nd grade, just like anyone else. Except not all kids can hit three pointers!

Rock On Patrick!
Student With Down Syndrome Scores For Greely High

CUMBERLAND (NEWS CENTER) -- Like many of us, Patrick Thibideau has dreamed of being a star athlete. On Tuesday night, Patrick, who has Down Syndrome, saw his dream come true when he went from team manager to starting player.

Patrick made sure his opportunity counted, scoring a 3-pointer with just his second shot. Then, with one minute left in the game, fans stood and chanted Patrick's name. The coach put him back in the game and he delivered -- sinking another three-pointer at the buzzer. Patrick's teammates swarmed around him, and carried him off the court.

The night was extra special for the Thibideau family. Just two weeks ago, Patrick's father Perry, an assistant coach for the team, suffered a stroke. He almost didn't make the game, but when Perry's doctors heard the situation, they let him out of the hospital just in time to see his son play. Perry said seeing his son score was thrilling.

"It was kind of surprising to me, I couldn't see who had the ball cause I was sitting way down here," says Perry. "But when I saw the ball go up and every one stand up, I said, yeah, I knew that was Patrick. Especially when it went in, that was fantastic! Best feeling you could ever have in your life... become a parent and you find out why."

Patrick's performance was thrilling to the whole Greely High School boys' team. Sam Thompson offered up his starting spot to let Patrick play.
"He comes to practice every day. He comes to every game. He works really hard. He just deserves it," said Thompson.

I also noted one of the comments at the bottom of the story...hmmmm too true!

nice story...but was he allowed to try out for the team like every one else in the first place? sounds like he may have had some potential...treating someone differently because they have a "disability" can be a two edged sword.


Chris said...

I have such mixed feelings about this story. Let me ask you, as a mom and seeing how much Nash loves basketball and talented he is, do you think he will be happy to be on the sidelines? Patrick was on the sidelines for 7 years. Finally, in the very last game, he was given a chance, and he scored. Good for him! And good for his teammate who gave up his spot to give Patrick a shot! I guess I just wish he had been given the chance earlier. The comment you included with your post was right on the money. Nonetheless, it was a nice story.

Mauzy said...

I imagine Patrick was allowed to try out, as that would be a law suit asking to happen if he wasn't. But I know coming from the Hoosier state, where high school basketball is very competitive, I wouldn't want Nash to be on the team just for the sake of being on the team. I would want him to be a contributing member, and if he was, then that would be great. I see Nash playing with his typical peers now (see video link in my post) and while he gets baskets just like the other second graders, he doesn't have the strategies down, yet. But then many of them do not either. Who knows, he might! I imagine the opportunities will be there for him if he does, if not, we will work to see that they are.

Brad Hennefer was a member of his high school team. I think it all depends on the competitive nature of the team, and the abilities of the player, Down syndrome or not.

Thanks for your post Chris!

Mauzy said...

on another note, there are grade requirements to play on the varsity teams too which have to be worked out state by state. Another issue to work on!

christina said...

This is a awesome story to hear! :)