Discovering Secrets of Parenting a Child with Down Syndrome

The day arrives. The newborn child coos in your lap—her big, broad life on your mind. When will she walk? When will he talk? As a parent with a special needs child, these questions suck....but....what changes? The whole damned game. Find out the hidden secrets things some of us know about parenting children with special needs. ...more

Television: Not Ashamed to Say I Love and Need It

One day in a college class, the professor asked us who watched television. A woman a few rows over from me talked with big hand gestures and voiced disdain for the lowly and terrible television. She only watched PBS and inferred those that watched anything else were stupid and beneath gutter scum. I tried to listen but couldn't get my mind off of the fact it was Thursday and Cheers was on that night. I'm a television child. We didn't have Internet then, just NBC, CBS and some independent station that showed a lot of reruns. My son watches television. ...more

When Do You Know You'll be OK as a Parent of a Special Needs Child?

Really, I don't know. I wake up everyday and wonder how to manage. Today, he put his pants on, a wonderful feat, though they were backwards. His shirt too. Didn't matter, we get excited about these steps, strides. ...more

5 Hidden Benefits of Down Syndrome (+ 1)

The day arrived. The child is in your lap; her life on your mind. When will he walk? When will she talk? Which diapers should I use? As my son grew, I realized a whole bunch of benefits opened up by having a child with Down syndrome. I didn't know about them, and they certainly weren't in the index of any book. Every day with this child has taught me to let go and find appreciation in how much I have to learn and how much he can teach me about letting go. ...more

Finding Nemo and Ed the Chimp

Who wants those old, big, needing-always-to-be-rewound video cassette tapes? We do. Compared to the DVD, the VCR works better for my son. The tape goes in, it plays until I push stop or it ends and there's no skipping, freezing, or most importantly, choices like special features or language. We scoop up old VCR tapes at sales and thrift stores, giddy at the hidden treasure we've found. ...more

How to Become A Star on Times Square

Submit a photo to the National Down Syndrome to the 2015 Times Square Video Project. One photo per child is permitted. The deadline is July 22, 2015. The video compilation runs in coordination with the NDSS Buddy Walk® in New York City. ...more

The Lesson of the Blue Cup: Teaching Independence by Doing Nothing

"Outside," my son said, as he pointed to the windows. The day was warm, the kind we've been waiting for all year. We gathered a game to play outside and a blanket to sit on. He led the way. We sat on the blanket. We discussed the rules of the game. "We have to hit these targets," I said. I threw neon green and pink paddles made out of velcro out into the grass. We each had our ball. "Watch," I said. I lopped the ball and missed. My son laughed. "You're turn," I said. "OK," he said. He tossed the ball. It bounced once and hit the target. ...more

Burdens to Blessings: Turning the Tough into Trophies

Instead of a burden, raising a child with special needs is a blessing. Pregnant with my second child, I knew something was different. Not one single test showed signs of Down syndrome. But, something was different. "Your son has Down syndrome," the doctor said. "How do you know?" I asked as I stared at the beige rectangular ceiling. Was this a blessing? Or a curse? Was this good? Or was this bad? Why did I want to cry at the birth of my son? Jammed. The words, the feelings escaped me. . ...more

How to Accept the Dark with the Light

A day without darkness is a day without transformation. Having a child with special needs amplifies the mix. Everyday I must find the silver lining, or I shall find madness instead. ...more

Everything's Going to Be OK

By seeing a glimpse of life, we connect. This film series focuses on knowing Everything Will Be OK. Raising a child special needs is parenting. Plain and simple. The challenges involve understanding different thought patterns, unique time tables, and gifts meant to be unwrapped as time presents them. ...more