Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Will you spread the word to end the r-word


SPREAD THE WORD

33 3.06.13


3-6-13

I pledge and support the elimination of the derogatory use of the r-word from everyday speech and promote the acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities







Be gentle.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Down Syndrome, The Big Picture. Coming soon!


Exhibition aims to break down Down’s Syndrome barriers

A piece of art by photographer Terry Harris.
A piece of art by 

photographer Terry 

Harris.

A photographic exhibition showing a positive side of Down’s Syndrome is launching at the Peterborough Garden Park in March.
Peterborough photographer Terry Harris is showing ‘DS The Big Picture’ at the Garden Park in Eye from March 16 until May.
He was inspired by his daughter Lucy, who was born in 2007 and diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome almost immediately.
He said: “It never really fazed us. We often think we are extremely lucky as Lucy does not have any of the major problems often associated with Down’s Syndrome. That said, she does have her problems and they are sometimes difficult and upsetting. But on the whole Lucy has grown into a lovable bundle who completes our family. There’s no doubting Lucy has obstacles ahead, but we as a family are supportive of each other.
“The Big Picture is our way of sharing our experiences and letting every family around the world touched by Down’s Syndrome share theirs.”
The exhibition aims to help everyone, from new parents to people who just want a better understanding of Down’s Syndrome: an understanding built on fact and not misconceptions. Another key component of the campaign is to educate society as a whole and to correct dated and negative stereotypes of people with DS.
‘DS The Big Picture’ has secured the support of the two largest charities involved with Down’s Syndrome: The Down’s Syndrome Association and DSi (Down Syndrome International). DSA currently has over 7,000 members across over 140 affiliates in the UK alone. It also has an exceptionally large presence around the world due to its World Down’s Syndrome International organization (DSi).
The exhibition is supported by an official website www.dsthebigpicture.com which will include full HD video and pictures with an interactive gallery to spread the message around the world, allowing overseas visitors to view and leave messages.
With around 7 million people with Down’s Syndrome living worldwide, DS is the most common and recognised form of learning disability. But most people with Down’s Syndrome face a harsh reality of low life expectancy, physical and psychological abuse, stigma and segregation, and limited life opportunities as children and adults. People with Down’s Syndrome living in poverty face these challenges, but they are also faced across the spectrum of wealth due to educational, political, medical and social barriers.
Be gentle.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Basketball Tournament Special Olympics style

The Galt Chiefs made a great showing at the Zebra VIP Basketball tournament today.  The athletes all were rock stars.  I am such a fan of these athletes.  They all played their hearts out.























Be gentle.

Friday, January 25, 2013

These young men are heroes.

These three young men need to take a bow.  They are my heroes.  What a special gift they gave to a fellow high school student.


Tennessee Homecoming King Nominees Give Crown to Another Teen


Homecoming Surprise for Tennessee Teen (ABC News)



Three Tennessee homecoming king nominees made a unanimous and touching decision that no matter who won, they would give the crown to a beloved student with a genetic condition.
Students Jesse Cooper, Drew Gibbs and Zeke Grissom were all nominated for homecoming king at Community High School's basketball homecoming ceremony.
The teens got together and decided that the winner would turn over the honor to junior Scotty Maloney, who has Williams Syndrome, a neurological disorder that inhibits learning and speech.
"I've been blessed with so many things," Cooper told ABC News' Nashville affiliate WKRN-TV. "I just wanted Scotty to experience something great in his high school days."
"He's always happy, so he deserves some recognition for who he is," Gibbs said.
Cooper won the popular vote for king, but when the official announcement was made at a Friday ceremony, the principal told the crowd what the nominees had decided to do.
"When they called [Scotty's] name, his eyes got really big and I don't know that he registered exactly what was happening. He knew something was," Maloney's teacher Liz Hestle Gassaway told ABCNews.com. "It was very, very emotional."
The crowd erupted with cheers and Maloney got a long standing ovation, WKRN reported, as he was awarded his "King" medal.
"It was just a ton of emotion from everybody," Grissom told WKRN. "I think I saw Scotty shed a few tears. I know Jesse was pretty emotional. We were all emotional out there on the court."
Maloney is a beloved teen in his school and in the community, Gassaway said.
"Scotty is fabulous. He is a superstar. He knows everybody. There's not one person that Scotty does not know," she said. "To know him and meet him is to love him."
Gassaway believes that the nearly 500-student school in Unionville, Tenn., is "one of the best schools in the world when it comes to dealing with special needs children."
Students like Cooper help out in special needs gym classes and other activities. Gassaway said the boys' gesture toward Maloney sent a greater message.
"We want people to have more empathy towards people, not be scared of people with disabilities," she said. "We want them to embrace them, more like the boys did."
Next year Maloney will get to crown the school's new homecoming king. But for now, he is proudly sporting his medal everywhere he goes.
"He's been wearing his medal around," Gassaway said with a laugh. "He is not here today because he had a doctor's appointment, but I'm sure he has his medal on."


Be gentle.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Awareness and support. It just takes one

I have noticed this story last the few days.  A waiter supports a family with a young child who happens to have Down Syndrome.  Rude, uneducated people who don't get it are everywhere.  But it takes a special person to make a stand.  Read on from an article in the Huffington Post.


Waiter At Lorenzo's, Houston Restaurant, Defends Boy With Down Syndrome, Refuses To Serve Table


The Huffington Post  |  By  Posted:   |  Updated: 01/18/2013 6:23 pm EST


It's rare that a story applauds rude waiters. But sometimes, it seems, rude patrons deserve it.
Such was the case at Laurenzo's Prime Rib, a restaurant in Houston, Texas, when regulars Kim Castillo and her 5-year-old son, Milo, sat down for dinner. Milo has Down syndrome, reports Houston's 29-95 blog, and while he can be distracting, his mom says, he isn't obnoxious.
"Tonight was a first," Castillo wrote in a Facebook post. "A family of 4 asked to be moved from the booth next to us. As it turns out they told the waiter, 'Special needs kids should be kept in special places.'"
Upon hearing this insult, explains Castillo, "The waiter promptly told them he was offended by their comment and refused to serve them." The family soon left the restaurant entirely.
After the story gained traction on 29-95 and The Consumerist, Laurenzo's Facebookwall has been flooded with positive comments.
Kudos to that waiter. Kudos to your entire waitstaff. And Kudos to the management. Many managers would've been unhappy to see paying customers walk out the door, no matter what the circumstances. My highest respect for all of your staff, for putting people above money.
The Huffington Post contacted Lorenzo's for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Unfortunately, not all stories related to Down syndrome and customer service have such a heartwarming ending.
In September, a California family looking to fly first class on American Airlines said they were "singled out" and "humiliated" after the airline deemed their 16-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, a "flight risk."
Instead, the airline booked them seats on a United Airlines flight, in the last row of the plane.
It's rare that a story applauds rude waiters. But sometimes, it seems, rude patrons deserve it.
Such was the case at Laurenzo's Prime Rib, a restaurant in Houston, Texas, when regulars Kim Castillo and her 5-year-old son, Milo, sat down for dinner. Milo has Down syndrome, reports Houston's 29-95 blog, and while he can be distracting, his mom says, he isn't obnoxious.
"Tonight was a first," Castillo wrote in a Facebook post. "A family of 4 asked to be moved from the booth next to us. As it turns out they told the waiter, 'Special needs kids should be kept in special places.'"
Upon hearing this insult, explains Castillo, "The waiter promptly told them he was offended by their comment and refused to serve them." The family soon left the restaurant entirely.
After the story gained traction on 29-95 and The Consumerist, Laurenzo's Facebookwall has been flooded with positive comments.
Kudos to that waiter. Kudos to your entire waitstaff. And Kudos to the management. Many managers would've been unhappy to see paying customers walk out the door, no matter what the circumstances. My highest respect for all of your staff, for putting people above money.
The Huffington Post contacted Lorenzo's for comment but did not receive an immediate response.
Unfortunately, not all stories related to Down syndrome and customer service have such a heartwarming ending.
In September, a California family looking to fly first class on American Airlines said they were "singled out" and "humiliated" after the airline deemed their 16-year-old son, who has Down syndrome, a "flight risk."
Instead, the airline booked them seats on a United Airlines flight, in the last row of the plane.



Be gentle.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fact or fiction. Down Syndrome is not a disease

FACT

According to the National Down Syndrome Congress.......

Down Syndrome is not a disease.  Down Syndrome is a chromosomal variation and has no known cause or cure.

Enjoy this video from the National Down Syndrome Congress



Be gentle.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

New program in Connecticut for children with Down Syndrom

A new program has been opened at Connecticut Children's Medical Center for families of children with Down Syndrome.  I love to see these resources available to families.

New Down Syndrome program


New comprehensive Down Syndrome program

Updated: Friday, 11 Jan 2013, 6:46 PM EST
Published : Friday, 11 Jan 2013, 6:46 PM EST

New Down Syndrome program
HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) -- It is a one of a kind program and Connecticut Children's Medical Center came up with it. It's a comprehensive outreach for families with children with Down Syndrome.
Louisa Knapp is among the hundreds in Connecticut born with down syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects a child's development.           
Louisa's family is among a growing number discovering the newly launched Comprehensive Down Syndrome Program at Connecticut Children's Medical Center.
"How's your hearing," asked Dr. Greenstein.
Dr. Robert Greenstein heads up this first of it's kind program in the state.
"This would make available in a timely manner the kind of services that are necessary to improve the health of the child and therefore reduce the anxiety among the family," said Dr. Greenstein.
A huge void until now, with services specifically tailored to address the special needs of a down syndrome patient which can be misdiagnosed, delaying treatment.
"Can I see your teeth please," asked Dr. Greenstein.
For Louisa, a stuffy nose led to surgery after Dr. Greenstein recommended a specialist.
"He managed for her to be seen by someone who is now with this program who is very comfortable with kids with down syndrome and understood the unique needs and she had her tonsils and adenoids removed and it was life changing for her," said Sheryl Knapp, Louisa's mother. 
     
At this visit, the concern is Louisa's hearing, a common problem among down syndrome patients.
"She often says I can't hear you or say that again. I don't know if she really can't hear or if she's just saying it," said Knapp.
Getting her hearing tested with an audiologist is now on Louisa's schedule.
"There's an expectation that you have to find out how much you can but it also comes with an emotional upheaval as well for families," said Dr. Greenstein. 
      
What's offered here is a big relief for families like Louisa's, looking for a central resource to meet all the needs for children with down syndrome.



New Down Syndrome program
Be gentle.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bury My Heart With Tonawanda

Powerful.  It took me several days of reflection on these amazing words spoken in these film clips.  I am in awe of the story of John Hamilton., faceless corn husk dolls, and acceptance.  Produce by a young man with Aspergerger's Syndrome, the film Bury My Heart with Tonawanda, tells a story of acceptance and inclusion.    Take a moment to view a preview of Bury My Heart With Towanda.  You can learn more on the Facebook page for Espocinema.  And you can check out this clip on You Tube.




Let me know your thoughts.

Be gentle.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Special Olympics World Games coming soon!

Coming soon!  The Special Olympics World Games 2013.

One of my bucket list items is a trip to a Special Olympics World Games.  Not this year, but I will be following the event closely.

Here is a press release for the 2013 games.




Special Olympics World Winter Games PyeongChang 2013


Special Olympics, a Movement that unleashes the transformative power and joy of sport reveal the full
potential of athletes with intellectual disabilities, is holding the next Special Olympics World Winter
Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, in January 2013. These games will unite the world through sports
and celebrate the talents and abilities of people with intellectual disabilities, forming a new global vision
of acceptance. The 2013 Special Olympics Games are being held in the future site of the 2018 Winter
Olympics.

Every two years since 1968, alternating between summer and winter sports, Special Olympics World
Games are a flagship event of Special Olympics which highlights on a global scale Special Olympics work
in sport, health, education and community.

When: 29 January - 5 February, 2013

Participants: 3,300 athletes and coaches representing 112 countries

Over 15,000 family, friends, volunteers and spectators

Where: PyeongChang, South Korea

Vision: Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics is dedicated to promoting
respect, acceptance, inclusion, and human dignity for people with intellectual
disabilities through the power and joy of sports. The Special Olympics World Winter
Games will be a milestone event celebrating differences in ability and promoting a more
inclusive world for all.

Sports:   Special Olympics athletes from every corner of the globe will travel to Korea to compete
in 8 Olympic-type sports: Alpine Skiing, Cross Country Skiing, Snow Boarding, Snow
Shoeing, Short Track Speed Skating, Figure Skating, Floor Hockey and Floor Ball
demonstration.

For more information you are kindly invited to visit:
The official website: www.2013sopoc.org
www.fb.com/SpecialOlympicsKorea2013

English: @Korea_2013
 Korean: @2013PyeongChang



Be gentle.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Wishing you peace, love and harmony for the new year

Welcome 2013


Be gentle