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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:


Monday, June 18, 2012

Great new book -- Just Cate

Monday, June 18, 2012 @ 9:06 PM

When one friend had a baby with Down syndrome, her BFF was there every step of the way. This story is told from both women's perspectives and truly gives a remarkable insight on things seen differently, but the same. More to follow, but for now, just had to let you know that Just Cate is here!!



Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Kyle Sarasin Drives for Kids

Tuesday, June 12, 2012 @ 1:05 PM

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Join us for Book Signing with Kelle Hampton

Thursday, June 7, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

Kelle Hampton; author of Bloom and blog Enjoying the Small Things, is traveling the midwest on a combination book tour and family vacation.

Wiegand's has scheduled this very special signing. this Saturday, June 9th, as a fundraiser for Band of Angels.

A special lily will be sold all day just for this event. Look around your garden and find some bare spots! Then come out to Wiegand's to support the nursery, Kelle's book and Band of Angels' work helping individuals with Down syndrome and other cognitive challenges!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What is Changing Education for our Children?

Wednesday, June 6, 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.