Friday, March 21, 2014

World Down Syndrome Day: Our Hopes for Joey

It's World Down Syndrome Day! A day to celebrate the amazing persons who happen to have an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. This is my three year old. This sweet little guy had stole my heart. I'm so proud to be his mom and am so hopeful for his bright future.

While this developmental disability means that in some things Joey progresses a little slower than his peers, raising Joey hasn't been too much different than raising his sisters. Sure we take him to tutoring to make sure he's ready for Kindergarten. We have speech therapy, physical therapy and IEPs. But really, each of our children has their own issues, things we are working on and skills we are trying to develop. And they each present their own set of parenting challenges. 

For Joey, that means providing him the therapies and education opportunities from pre-K through college so that he can develop the skills and compentencies to eventually earn an appropriate wage doing something he enjoys, participate in hobbies and activities, live independently and have meaningful relationships. See, not really that different! 

Here's a glimpse at Joey's life now.

He is the first to wake up most mornings. 

He is learning to butter his own toast. He's so proud of himself!

He loves it when his Pop drives him to school.

He is learning his letters, to spell his name, colors, shapes and school readiness skills in his three year old Pre-k class. Our goal is that he will be ready to join Kindergarten with his typical peers.

He loves to help out, even sweeping up at the hair salon. He also helps switch over the laundry and empty the dishwasher.

He loves playing with friends at GiGis playhouse on Saturdays. 

He loves his big sisters and enjoys playing with them, chasing them, dancing with them, and currently, watching Frozen with them over and over.

Consider joining me in support of World Down Syndrome Day by donating $3.21 on 3/21 to the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta!