Special Needs Round-up: ‘Awareness’ & hurtful comments

special needs blog posts sliderThree meaty topics for you this month: Transitioning through life, insensitive comments and ‘awareness’. Here’s what our round-up bloggers think. How about you?

Our vests have been dug out and the Winter boots have had a few outings. Our children have probably had their flu jabs and the more organised amongst you will already have started thinking about the Ch******* word, (pauses for a shudder of mild panic). The weather is crisp and cold and just right for sitting down with a cuppa (or a glass of your favourite sherbert) to read October’s collection of Special Needs posts on these hot topics.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month 2013

This originates in America, with Noah’s Dad Dot Com at the helm, as we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on 21st March, but it has been a wonderful opportunity to find new DS bloggers and pull the best of their writing together to further support one another and create the change we wish to see. I’ve chosen three very diverse reads for you.  The first is from little swimwear model Valentina’s Mum, Cecilia Elizalde, entitled 8 Lessons my Baby with Down Syndrome has Taught Me. It’s a lovely uplifting, yet wise read.

Next, Extranjera challenges us, quite rightly, to think about what exactly ‘awareness’ is and what we are trying to achieve through such campaigns. Do read this thought-provoking post When we Slip and Slide – A Lament over at Utterly Unpublished Author’s Daughter.

The last, but by no means least, is a beautiful poetry blog Down to be Up by Maria, a young woman who has Down Syndrome. It’s easy to sit and while away the hours reading through her expressive work such as You Shouldn’t Lie to Yourself.

If you write a Down’s Syndrome blog, please join the #DSAM2013 linky and tweet using the hashtag.

Dealing with Society’s Insensitivities

How do you react when someone makes a comment about your child that stings? Do you walk away? Do you retaliate? Have you grown a rhino hide over the years, putting it down to ignorance rather than rudeness?

I recently read a post by Abstract Lucus that made me want to climb through my laptop and give her a hug, for the downright rude and cruel comments she had received about her son came not from a passing stranger, but a member of her own family. Read and support her here at With Family Like This, who needs… Family?

Busy Bee Mummy Bex wrote a post that resonated strongly with me Terminate Your Pregnancy Due to Baby not Being Perfect and deals with society’s fear and avoidance at all cost of whatever it perceives not to be perfect, and that includes Talipes (clubfoot).

Tania at Special Needs Jungle featured a Downs Side Up post this month about how the comments that people make about our children leak their deepest thoughts and feelings about disability, most of them based on stereotype and myth. Read The Quotes that Reinforce the Myths: The Truth here.

Transitioning Through Life

I have read a selection of truly astonishing and extremely helpful posts about the often sticky issues of transitioning through the different stages of life this month. I’m listing them here in chronological order. I do hope that at least one of them will be relevant for the stage that your child is at at the moment.

Dealing with a diagnosis – Diagnoses and Other Dilemmas by Premmeditations.

The need for teachers to be given more training in Autism, for they only see a snapshot of the child  during the school day- A Lack of Education by Ojo’s World.

Another fabulous post on the unique educational needs of our children and how they are met – Schools of Thought by Dad Matt Davis on his blog My Son Isaac. Matt urges parents to be aware that a different school might serve their children better at some point in the future. I have to agree with him, for nothing is set in stone educationally speaking.

16 years olds – Steph Nimmo over at Was This in the Plan??? has blogged about the very important issue of being her Autistic son’s power of attorney for medical matters here in Parental Guidance Required.

First dates – Paul Critchlow at Orange Juice Flavour Sky has written beautifully about his daughter Emily’s first date, and how he was a willing gatecrasher in A Date to Remember.

Adult supported living – Mardra Sikora writes so beautifully and with love jumping from every word about how her son with DS lives with her as an adult. Guess what, she’s happy with that and enjoys every single day. Read Will He Always Live with You here.

Leave a comment for discussion on any of the above topics, or link any relevant posts to the linky below.

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About Hayley Goleniowska

A former language teacher and voice-over artist, Hayley is now the Mum of two gorgeous girls, the youngest of whom, Natty, has Down’s Syndrome. She blogs, speaks and writes articles on the subject for all who will read or listen. Through Downs Side Up she aims to both offer support and encouragement to new families with a diagnosis, and gently change perceptions of Down’s Syndrome from within hearts through beautiful words and photos. Her daughter Natty is a clothing model and an amazing ambassador for children with disabilities everywhere. She has appeared in The Sun, Mail Online, Bella Magazine and on ITV Daybreak. You can find Hayley on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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3 Responses to Special Needs Round-up: ‘Awareness’ & hurtful comments

  1. Ojo Henley 19 October 2013 at 19:59 #

    Thank you so much for including me, have already read 1 or 2 of the posts. Shall read the rest while little A’s power rangers tv marathon continues x

  2. Downs Side Up 20 October 2013 at 14:51 #

    You are very welcome and thank YOU for the wonderful post. I hope you enjoy the rest, there are some fabulous ones this month.


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