Contributing author to Gifts : Chapter 8

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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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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Back Pack Search

The Back Pack Search...............we all do it.

Whether you are a working parent away from the home, or from the home, the routine is the same, but the hour may differ. After school, you approach your beloved child, arms ready for that warm embrace, and as you offer that “I love you” hug and kiss, you ask “How was your day?”

Yet, this is when all “normality” ends, as the means to respond differs, the spectrum is vast, as all children are dissimilar in their response.

At age 8.5, Nash’s details vary; “I had a good day! No Strikes! " I may get "I played kickball and for lunch ate chicken poppers.”

But, for most kids without a disability, what would a “typical” (eh, what is that anyway) response be to a parent’s question of “[h]ow was your day?” Maybe it would include some of the stressors of third graders I found online … a discussion of the nuances of multiplication, a discourse about fashion trends, pop culture.

But whatever the response, it would be. Verbal. With many, many words…and description....or maybe a few words with an abundance of attitude.

For children with a disability, and in our case, Down syndrome, the response is never “typical”.......It will be short in description, and one you may or may not actually believe is actually “true”, and after the awesome verbal/signing/PEC or whatever method of response is given to our question of “How was your day” if it contained gym/PE class it kind of goes like this…..

”I did kickball”

but nothing like

“I really enjoyed PE today because we played kickball and I was the pitcher and Mrs. Smith said I did a great job and Zach ran the bases and got a home run”.


after I get “I did kickball” from Nash, I search in the Back Pack and find……………his communication notebook that has a short note that he had a good day, no strikes, and best of all.. a “Gym Rat” pin ...and then I know he had a very, very awesome PE day as Mrs. Smith gives a Gym Rat pin to those that have shown that they were a “Star” in PE that day…..

thank you Mrs. Smith.

and thank you to Nash’s teachers and para because it is so important that you bring the communication from the classroom to our home!


All 4 My Gals said...

Well I do agree about the communication book, I'm thinking maybe ALL my kids need one as I normally just get, "Fine" and if I press, "MOM.... I don't want to talk about it. ". LOL