Disability and Friendship

So here’s a thing you might not consider about having a kid with a disability: It is REALLY HARD to make friends. Think about it. How do little kids make friends? STEP ONE: They find kids at school with like interests and personalities. They come home and tell you about it. STEP TWO: A) If…

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Testing (or: when a morale-booster ends up being demoralizing)

This past week, we got the results of Julianna’s “re-eval.” Now, for those of you who are not immersed in the world of special education, part of the process is that every three years a child must be re-evaluated to make sure they still qualify for special ed. There’s a whole battery of tests, and…

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Mad Lib Theology

Today, I visit my blog to talk about this girl: Wednesday nights, Julianna goes to “church school” (because it’s easier for little kids to say than “religious ed”) while we’re having choir practice. Usually, in the chaos of grabbing boys from the nursery, cleaning up octavos and books, and getting an overtired family of six…

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On Losing A Child, Recognizing the Value of Friends, and the Humbling Realization That Everyone Really Does Know Who You Are

It’s almost too complicated a story to explain. A group of parents were meeting Friday after school, at the Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble, to discuss a topic of mutual concern while the kids perused the books and toys. When it was time to go, I sent Nicholas to get Julianna from the children’s area,…

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Fun With IEPs

Fun fact: I spent 2 1/2 years as a music ed major before deciding all I really wanted to do was play my flute, and I universally hated every one of my education classes. The class that broke me and caused me to switch? Special Education For Non-Special Educators. It took me until Julianna was…

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Being Clear-Eyed About My Special Needs Child, And My Responsibility To Her

¾ of the way through Day 3 of iCanBike camp, the gym at the YMCA was starting to get less crowded as the more successful campers started heading outside with their volunteers to transition to independent riding. The speakers were playing “give ‘em hell” music like “Eye of the Tiger” and “How You Like Me…

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A “Special” Tea Party (Photo Friday)

I know I said I wasn’t going to post, but some things simply must be shared. After months of attempts foiled by busy-ness, three of our local Down syndrome families with girls close to the same age managed to get together for a girls-only tea party this week, served by their sisters. How beautiful is…

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The Reason That Dream Was So Scary

I’ll blame it on watching “Logan” late at night. I had this vivid dream in which we were at my parents’ church and in the middle of the Gospel, I realized Julianna’s bus was due to drop her off at home in five minutes. Only my parents’ church is 35 minutes away, and by the…

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The Charm and Challenge of Raising Julianna

In bullet points, in no particular order: Every time we introduce Julianna to a new teacher, be that classroom or for swim lessons, we have to begin with these words: “She likes to pretend she’s more helpless than she is. You have to be firm with her.” The truth is, she manipulates without even realizing…

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My Alternative Spring Break

You know those trips organized by campus ministries every year, where college kids go to build houses in Appalachia or Central America? I never did one of those. I was way too timid (shocking, I know) and way too comfortable in my own ordinary. Those kinds of missed opportunities are the only real regrets I…

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