As we continue to pass our days, full of change from where we thought we would be, and what we thought we might be doing it is easy to go to the negative. OK- let’s be honest- it is easy to begin to panic, even.
We are concerned, and that is understandable. We worry about health, we worry about progress, we worry about school support, and we worry about well- being. Insert more worries here: ___________________________
There is much we cannot control, and so lots to worry about- but let’s agree to collectively take progress off the table.
Your child will progress, even in the face of this change. In fact, in some ways, your child may actually progress more than they would have in their previous routine.
So many times have I worried about progress. Would my son be negatively impacted by no ESY or a change in educator? How about when we moved or added another baby to the family? What was the magic recipe that was allowing progress to occur and would it all stop if we changed even a small amount of one ingredient?
But you know what? We have had many, many changes in our lives and lack of progress was never the reality. In fact, if I looked closely enough and brought the truth into focus, in so many ways there was progress in places that never could have occurred had things stayed the same.
Times of change give opportunities to grow. We have to learn new things by the very nature of change occurring. It is not always quick, and not often neatly packaged, but given time, and different support, by the very nature of who they are, and the fact that they are experiencing life day-in-and-day-out, our loved ones, even our loved one with learning challenges, will grow to levels beyond where they were before.
So look closely, and give it time. Find the growth and celebrate the progress we would never have found had we not found ourselves in a different place than we expected to be.
In my last post I mentioned that we are certainly living in uncertain times and that continues to be the case. Daily, it seems, that we are faced with a new dose of reality, that changes the way we interact with the people in our communities, and maybe even our own families. It is a time of uncertainty, even possibly a time of feeling overwhelmed, and of not knowing where to turn or what will happen next.
I have been thinking about that a lot lately. Especially for those of us whose loved ones may face additional impacts, either to their health, or perceived loss of education- at times this just seems like too much.
But we can look at this another way as well. We can dig deep and recognize that we can do this because we have done it before.
As a parent you will have received a pre-natal, post- natal or pre- adoption diagnosis. As an educator, you may have known nothing about Down syndrome or autism, or whatever learning challenge your student faces daily, or maybe too much following old paradigms. The truth is that upon joining our lives alongside one with Down syndrome or another struggling learners, we all faced unexpected challenges. We all have been in the path of experiencing life differently than we had planned, and have learned new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking, even, and made that part of our current daily “normal”.
So do that again my friends. Dig deep, back to the time when you first heard the diagnosis of Down syndrome applied to someone you would join alongside, or learned something new about someone you love, and as you do, know that this time, you’ve got this- because you have done it before, and can absolutely do it again!
Happy World Down Syndrome Day 2020 everyone.!!! I can certainly say that we are not celebrating the way we had expected but I am sure that we are all doing what we can, in our own way.
Under today’s circumstances, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this day than to officially launch Sevi’s Smile online services, as a way to support people with Down syndrome and other learning challenges, their parents and caregivers and, even in these uncertain times, their educators.
I have been absolutely blessed and humbled by the response we have received on our soft launch, and cannot wait to connect with you as we take our support out into the world in a more public way.
Today- Sevi had been planning to speak at a local conference for families of children with various disabilities. As we reflected on the opportunity that was before us we could not think of a more perfect way to celebrate WDSD2020.
The reality is that our plans are not possible. So much of what we face today is overwhelming and out of our control, but we are not swayed. We are still taking the message of positivity and possibility out into the virtual world- and we hope you will join us.
In the meantime- let us know how you are celebrating WDSD2020. We are using this time to make connections and reaching out to people we have not spoken to in too long and not letting another minute pass.
Sending virtual hugs and encouragement to you all.
It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and that may be true, but in this case it took a village to make this website a reality. I have been known to say, "I know what I have." That is true for my children and for myself. I know where my strengths are and I know where they are not, and I can tell you, they are not in creating a website.
As I look back, there have been countless people who have come into my life at the right moment. Those people who show me, in a nanosecond, that I have shifted off my path, and support me in getting back on. Creating this website was not one of those moments. Instead, more than one amazing person came into my life, along the way, to share ideas, encouragement, support, knowledge, and resources, but in the end, they let me be, and let me know it was mine to do.
It has taken a lot of time, reflection, and learning new skills, but I have done it, and now that I have I am excited to see where this may travel to.
In the meantime, I share this photo with you all. This is symbolic of the village I want to live in, someday. It is full of people who care about each other, see through all of the unimportant dust that covers what really matters, is safe, where doors are always open to share whatever is needed for that special "in-the-moment" moment, or for the the one that will evolve in the future through a bumpy ride.
Kristin Enriquez has dedicated her life's work to children with learning challenges and helping people work together to realize each student's potential. She is the proud mother of 4 children, one of which has Down syndrome. She is not an experienced blogger, or a professional website creator, but she does "tell it like it is," is a collector of facts, and loves sharing the amazing experiences and knowledge that have found her along the way,