Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A new friend

I run 4 Is a "movement" that I have to say is a great movement! Tim Boyle  (Founder/Executive Director of “I Run For) started this January 2013.They match children/ adults with special needs with runners all over the world, they are called "buddies".  The children/adults are motivation to run faster or longer or reach personal goals and the runners, run for the kids who might not be able to run or even walk.  I just recently found out about this group. I decided to throw Hannah's name in the hat! Within 3 day we were matched! We were match with a awesome runner name Megan!  If you have a special need family member or if you are a runner  and you would like to join please check out the link I run 4 and for more information about the movement please check out Tim Boyle blog!
 Its been a few days and Megan has been running for Hannah and I have to say Hannah is already Megan's biggest fan! She is so excited whenever I tell her Megan posted a picture for her or has run for her. Although you are matched with "strangers" these "strangers" quickly become friends and even part of the family! We are so excited to watch Megan grow stronger, become fast as a runner and meet all her personal goals. As a mom I am excited to see a complete stranger became a true friend to my daughter. I am honored to call Megan my friend and I feel so blessed that someone we don't even know wants to support my little girl! I think this part of our journey will be one of the parts that last a long time and will become very special to Hannah. Thank you I run 4 and Megan for looking for ways to pay it forward, an offering love and acceptance to all types of children/ adult with special needs.


Day 1
Day 2

Day 3

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dear other parents at the park

By:Kate Bassford Baker 2012
Dear other parents at the park:

Please do not lift my daughter to the top of the ladder, especially because she has special needs and you just heard me tell her I wasn't going to do it for her. I am encouraged her to try by herself. I am not sitting here 15 feet away from her because I'm too lazy to get up. I am sitting here because I didn't bring her to the park, so she could learn how to manipulate others into doing the hard work for her just because she has Down Syndrome. I brought her here so she could learn to do it herself.
We are not here to be at the top of the ladder, we are here to learn to climb. We are here to build our gross motor skills. We are here to learn life skills. (For you and your child you may be here to play or run out extra energy, for us a trip to the park is about much more) If she can't do it herself she will survive the disappointment. And what is more important, she will now have a goal and the incentive to work to achieve it. In the meantime, she can use the stairs. I want her to push past limitations and put in the effort to reach a goal she set without any help from me (or you).  

It is not my job and it is certainly not yours to prevent my child from feeling frustrated or fearful.  If we shelter her to much we will have robbed her of the opportunity to learn that those types of things are not the end of the world and they can be overcome.  The world will not stop to help her later in life. She has Down syndrome she is not helpless.
 If she gets stuck, I will not save her immediately. If I do, I will again be robbing her the opportunity to learn to calm herself, assess the situation and try to problem solve her own way out of the situation. She has Down syndrome she is not incapable of thinking or problem solving.

It is not my job to keep her from falling. If I do I have robbed her the opportunity to learn that falling is possible but worth the risk, and that she can in fact get up again.
I don’t want my daughter to learn that she must have someone’s help in order to overcome obstacle. I don’t want her to think she is entitled to a reward without having to push through whatever it is that is holding her back from earning it

I want my daughter to know the exhilaration of overcoming fear and doubt. I want to see the joy and pride on her face when she accomplishes something she has worked so very hard for.
I want her to believe in her own ability. I want her to be confident and determined.

I want her to accept any limitation she might have and I want her to strive to figure out a way past them on her own significant power.
I want her to feel capable of making her own decisions, develop her own skills, take her own risks and learn to cope with her own feelings.

I want her to climb the latter without any help from you, (However good your intentions might be), because she can. I know it and if I give her a little space, she will soon know it too.

This may come to a surprise to you but if I do everything for I have failed her as a mother. I would be doing her more harm than good. So thank you for standing aside and letting me do my job, which consists mostly of resisting the very same impulses you are having, and biting my tongue when I want to yell “Be careful” and choosing, deliberating, painfully, standing back 15 feet instead of rushing forward.
As she grows up the latter will only get taller and scarier, and much more difficult to climb. And I don’t know about you but I would rather help her learn the skills she will need to navigate them now, when I misstep means a scraped knee that can be healed with a kiss. And while these 15 feet between us still feels (to her) that I am much too far away. The world is a scary place for all kids but with children with special need there are so many more people saying they can’t do something or underestimating their abilities. Teaching her these things now will make her confident and capable of standing up to those who doubt her and say to them “watch me!!!”