Pandemics, Special Ed, and Rolling With the Punches

Generally, I would say I’m pretty good at rolling with the punches. Fifteen-plus years of parenthood has taught me to make good plans. It’s also taught me to be flexible, because plans usually get shredded. But simply having one allows me to know the parameters and priorities, which, when plans do get shredded, leaves me…

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IEP Day

This is what #IEP prep looks like: notes from parent advocate, part A and B. The first draft of the IEP, from which the comments came, split in two: the half we got through last week, and the part we have to do today—the goals, i.e the basic shape of her middle school experience. Finally,…

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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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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 Saga of Orthotics, and why it’s important to talk about it during an election year

I hope you’ll bear with me today, because there’s a reason I’m about to tell this story. One thing that sometimes accompanies an extra 21st chromosome is “pronation.” This means that due to low muscle tone, the feet turn out. Julianna has fabulous health and good cognitive functioning but her feet are regularly regarded as…

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On Julianna, at the end of Grade 2

Every so often, I like to share some of Julianna’s school work and progress. I need to be clear: this is not a total picture of Down syndrome. It’s not even a total picture of “what a person with Down syndrome can do in the second grade.” There’s a vast range of ability among people with…

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A Special Parent

Not long ago Jen, a friend and fellow blogger, sent out a request for guest bloggers to talk about what it’s like being a “special needs parent.” She has started a blog to raise money for Brett, a little boy with cerebral palsy who is waiting to be adopted through Reece’s Rainbow. I jumped on this chance, and…

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