October 15, 2012

15/31 Book give-away: Include

In honor of Down syndrome awareness month I will be publishing excerpts from “From Grief to Celebration, How One Family Learned to Embrace the Gift of Down Syndrome” for 12 days. Each day features a different verb/chapter and at the end of the month we will give-away three copies of the book, signed by Alex. Priceless! 

I wrote, "From Grief to Celebration, How One Family Learned to Embrace the Gift of Down Syndrome"  to share this story of love, life, magic and down syndrome. Our critically acclaimed book details our journey through ten verbs beginning with grief, ending with plan and incorporating one bonus verb, celebrate. I hope this can be a resource to help others embrace, understand and learn. The book is available through this blog ($12.50) on-line booksellers ($13.99) and kindle (reduced to $3.99 during October).

Verb 5 – Include

I often meet parents of younger children with Down syndrome who tell me they think Alex is doing well. I have three responses: 1) Early intervention, 2) inclusion, and 3) a supportive school district. I know school districts obviously vary from area to area, and certainly funding cuts have affected services. My advice: persevere and insist!

At the same time, however, I also struggle with my own philosophy. I did, and still do, support inclusion. I believe that Alex benefits from being included in as many academic and social situations are possible, and that others benefit from her presence and participation as well. Oftentimes parents and kids relate how Alex has changed their lives and opened their eyes to new things in the world. This is also good for Alex, as she uses these experiences to model her behaviors. I don’t believe in segregating Alex from her peers, but I do believe a blend of both worlds is successful for Alex.

What I didn’t believe at the time, but know now is that Alex shines when she’s with other people with disabilities. She can interact equally, both socially and competitively. She feels friendship, pride and success. As the mother of a disabled child, it’s rewarding to see your child so happy, particularly since there are struggles in other parts of her life.

The Special Olympics was the answer for us. It’s very difficult to find the words to describe how much the Special Olympics have meant to our family. Her coaches are professional, yet empathic and caring. They don’t tolerate some of the behaviors that I know Alex gets away with at school. Both of her coaches treat each and every kid as an athlete first, and then if needed, as an athlete that may need accommodations.

To read more please enter our give-away:

These are only two requirements to be entered in the drawing - and Alex will pick the winner!
1. Please like "The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl" on facebook (link on the sidebar), or
2. Follow this blog, on networked blogs (also on sidebar)

Of course, you will need to tell me you did this, either as a comment or by e-mail theextraordinarygirlllc@gmail.com .

Stay tuned
16/31 Book give-away: Understand
17/31 Book give-away: Advocate

1 comment:

  1. So true. We love Special Olympics and it has brought not only my kids but me many new friends.


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