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Thursday, March 21, 2013

World Down Syndrome Day and Progress

Thursday, March 21, 2013 @ 3:31 PM

Let us all celebrate the changes in education; acceptance and opportunity for those with Down syndrome over the past two decades. I wish I could just write a happy article here and discuss "where we're going; where we've been" kinds of things. But I can't. Since this is the day we have set aside to really evaluate the improvements in our children's lives and the needs ahead of us, this must be a day we really look at this. For every cute, adorable, huggable toddler with Down syndrome, there are equally delightful adults who do not draw quite as much favorable attention. When our children are born, we worry. About all of our children. We want nothing more than for them to live happy, healthy and meaningful lives.

Each time we read about a tragic misunderstanding, it reminds us of the need for outreach, awareness, opportunites and access. The hardest thing to do after reading about the sad end to the life of Ethan Saylor is to NOT change our behavior. As parents, we have to continue to propel our adult offspring into the public. We have to help them find work. We must send them to the gym and to churches and communiy colleges and to enrichment classes. They want and need to go to concerts, restaurants and outdoor art fairs. And they need to be accepted as vital threads to the fabric of each and every community.

So read about Robert Ethan Saylor and his life and death. Cry as I did. Then continue to encourage your family and community to accept and embrace each person in your community. Resist the temptation to just watch movies at home to be safe and use this day as a reminder of the role individuals with Down syndrome have in our livs and our communities.

To the family of Ethan, our thoughts and prayers will be with you.



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Girl's Night Out Event-Ideas You'll Love

Tuesday, November 13, 2012 @ 10:51 AM

Join us Thurday from 4-7 at Oakland Optometry for a truly spectacular girl's night out! Image consultant Patty Buccellato will be there along with Christina Licari from Kimi K Salon. Watch as you and your friends receive real transformations right before your eyes. Speaking of eyes, Oakland Optometry has the best frames in Oakland County so come find something for your baby blues or sultry browns! Oh, and all of it benefits children and adults with Down syndrome through Band of Angels.  Look for video of our budding starlets!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Job Opportunities

Thursday, July 12, 2012 @ 8:37 AM

Since the beginning, Band of Angels has been involved in job creation for persons with disabilities. 

If you are ready, just post your name and contact information here along with a brief paragraph or resume so that we can help match you to an opportunity near your home! This is the best way to stay connected to your community and to reallize your full potential. We have committed employers and are now seeking solid, work-ready applicants. Sign up today!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Limited Time Offer: Down Syndrome Support and Resource Package

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

Limited Time Offer
Down Syndrome Support and Resource Package  


Occasionally we come across a book or resource that we feel strongly about sharing with new parents. Just Cate is such a resource. Just Cate opens in the delivery room with Noelle Alix, whose newborn daughter Cate is unexpectedly born with Down syndrome. Noelle’s childhood friend, Angela Martin, is inspired by her quiet faith to write Noelle a heartfelt note in a baby card. This note and this child spark a transformative 12-year journey of renewed faith and friendship. With humor and heart, the coauthor friends tell a dual tale of the angst and joys of raising a child with a disability, of the power of women friendship, and of Cate’s funny and poignant early years.!

We have combined this book with the award winning book Common Threads and 18-month developmental calendar.  In addition, keeping with our commitment to assist in all stages of your child's life, we are sharing a sneak preview of Cynthia Hutchison's new Curriculum Modification Handbook due out in the fall—FREE!  Since this packet is for new parents, you will see that the selection is for early elementary school.  For new parents, the concern over how life might look for their child is huge at this time.  This chapter of the Curriculum Modification Handbook should help alleviate much of that concern!

This comprehensive support and resource package for new and expectant parents and family members is a must have.  Great for support groups too.

Now for a limited time; Just $35   A 40% savings if purchased separately.


Limited Time Offer; Order Today. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DS featured on ABC tonight

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 @ 11:26 AM

At 46, John Anton is weighing a big step: moving to Washington, D.C. to pursue the next phase in his career. At 26, Melissa Reilly hopes to get her own place soon while continuing to work at the State House. Both share a passion for politics – and both have Down syndrome. In the last three decades, the outlook has changed dramatically for people born with Down: they live longer, have more independence, and participate more fully in society. Anthony Everett reports on how these developments are affecting families, and what new pre-natal testing techniques mean for the future.

Read more:


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What is Changing Education for our Children?

Wednesday, June 06, 2012 @ 4:21 PM

The past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to observe numerous school districts with different approaches to providing education for students with Down syndrome and other cognitive challenges. My observation has been this: change from the full inclusion years is significant. Very few districts are meeting the needs of students with disabilities in a general education setting.

Many districts, respected for the immersion of students with special needs in the 1990's and beyond, have now set up classrooms exclusively for students with disabilities. This encourages an "us vs them" approach which separates students with special needs rather than includes them.  Once a separate room is open, it can be quite tempting to use it more frequently than was originally anticipated.
Parents have different concerns as well.  Many have never really known anything but inclusion and are now pining for specialized instruction in a small setting. I have seen three issues crop up that I find concerning:

1-Wishing their child were "smart enough" for a general education setting. It breaks my heart to hear this. I know how smart a child with a thirst for learning can become!
2-Seeing the building as too big and threatening for their child. It feels big when you are not used to it; once your child gains access to big spaces, her world opens up too!
3-Being intimidated by the curriculum. Talented and caring teachers are equipped to modify curriculum to meet your child's needs. Once he is in the general education setting, you can begin to see what help is needed.

The pendulum swing back toward inclusion will require a push from educators and a huge dose of courage from parents. Inclusion does not guarantee low student to teacher ratios. It requires homework. And tutoring. And reteaching. And patience. And big hallways with taller kids. Come back here often for encouragement as you travel this path.