October 19, 2012

19/31 Book Give-away: Practice Healthy Skepticism

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 9 – Practice Healthy Skepticism

I learned very quickly that, as is the case with many mothers and their children, I know Alex best. I’m the one who always expects the best from her when others may not. To me, this almost automatically means others’ expectations of Alex could be based on erroneous facts and/or experiences from years ago when early intervention programs did not exist and ignorance did. I’ve programmed myself to be doubtful of many of the insights shared by Alex’s educators, but I endeavor to listen as best as I can. Practicing practice healthy skepticism and maintaining a positive and helpful attitude about Alex and her capabilities is essential to her development and education.

All children with special needs are tested to determine their IQ scores at some point. In my opinion, this is one of the dumbest indicators of anything I have ever come across. However, it’s also one of those ridiculous things that are required to “classify” a child, which in turn is needed to provide services.

Alex does not perform on command; she sees no sense in random tests and usually does not cooperate. This doesn’t bother me in the least, but it does produce the lowest IQ scores you can imagine. If I believed her IQ score, then I would assume she is unable to perform the basic skills needed in life.

Although Alex’s IQ level indicated the following should not be true, here is a list of Alex’s skills (at age 17). She can:

·        Dress herself,
·        Brush her teeth and hair
·        Attend to all personal matters, i.e. showers, girl stuff
·        Read and comprehend at a third to fourth grade level
·        Add, subtract, multiply and divide at a third to fourth grade level
·        Memorize her class schedule
·        Navigate the busy hallways at school to get to all her classes on time
·        Unlock her school and gym lockers
·        Bring home oral messages from her teachers
·        Participate in science labs, presentations, etc.
·        Ski
·        Play basketball, soccer, tennis, softball
·        Run, skip, hop and jump
·        Bowl
·        Ice skate
·        Ride horses
 Other life skills
·        Express her needs and wants
·        Clean her room/make her bed
·        Do her laundry
·        Prepare all her meals (microwave as needed)
·        Count money
·        Find her way home
·        Stay home by herself
·        Cross the street
·        Recognize “stranger danger”

As of today, Alex cannot:
·        Stay focused when she does not understand the subject matter
·        Comprehend reading materials beyond a fifth grade level
·        Do algebra or geometry problems
·        Ride a two-wheel bicycle
 Other Life skills
·        Drive a car
·        Take the public bus without supervision
·        Monitor her food intake
(NOTE – Alex is now 19 and has mastered some of the “cannot” skills)

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
20/31 Book Give-away: Plan
21/31 Book Give-away: CELEBRATE

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