It is good to take a moment to celebrate how far our children really have come. Watching this video I am so proud of how well Noah is sitting. He has worked so hard to accomplish this and it was no easy feat. He worked on his core, his balance, his proprioception, and all aspects of himself just to sit up. And he isn’t just sitting; he is sitting up nice and straight.
Sometimes we can get so caught up in what are children are not doing that we forget how far they really have progressed, and how hard they worked to get there. Once we meet a goal in our therapy sessions we are on to the next one, often forgetting about what was just accomplished.
Let’s Celebrate, Not Compare
I have been doing a lot of comparing lately, and I don’t know why. I know we all do it whether we talk about it or not. I get frustrated that Noah has to work so hard to do all of these things. Our sitting marathon seemed to last forever. We waited so long for him to do this on his own. While typical children just sit one day and that is that. Continue Reading…
I don’t know how many of you played a musical instrument but I played the piano and saxophone. I was much more talented in the musical department than I was in sports, so if Noah isn’t good at sports it has nothing to do with Down syndrome ….but possibly everything to do with his mother. I however, thought that basketball was way cooler than the piano, so at 15 I decided it was time to focus on basketball after 9 years of piano lessons!
WHAT WAS I THINKING? (Yes mom I know you are reading this, and you were right…)
I went on to quit the basketball team my senior year as I had better things to do then sit on a bench of a coach who didn’t really think I had game. It was one of the hardest things I did as I had never quit anything in my life, but it was the right decision. Can I still play the piano, yes, but who knows what I would have gone on to achieve had I stuck to what I was good at.
Brain Hemispheres and Their Function
Noah likes to rock the tambourine.
My piano teacher believed firmly that music connected both sides of the brain. The right side of your brain thought to be creative, artistic and musical; and the left to be speech, comprehension, math, and writing. There are several benefits of music for children with learning disabilities, but I am going to touch on just one today as I promise you this is not Noah’s last exposure to a musical instrument and more will come. Continue Reading…
I can’t even explain how much I love being a parent. I love all the fun we get to have in this house on a daily basis. I love playing tickle monster with him. I love listening to his super awesome adorable laugh. I love watching him sleep like the cute little baby that he is. I love watching him learn to eat. And the list goes on, and on. I love it!
I love being a parent!
I could write a million more reasons why being a parent is such a joy, but my hands would fall off before I could type them all out. I think today’s video says more than I ever could anyway. Continue Reading…
If you’ve been watching our daily one minute videos you may have thought to yourself:
“Do these people do anything other than take their son to physical and occupational therapy appointments!?”
If so, I don’t blame you. We post a lot of videos of Noah’s various physical therapy, occupational therapy, and even a few of his speech / feeding therapy sessions. Our daily one minute videos only show one minute of our day; there are 1,339 more minutes of our day that you don’t get to see. We typically post a video every day and if Noah happened to go to one of his therapy appointments on the day of that video, that’s usually what we show on that day’s video. Make sense? But to answer your question, yes, we do have a life outside of therapy….I promise.
We 'hang out' at physical therapy a lot!
Why so many therapy videos? Heck, wya so many videos, period?
One of the reasons we started this website was to give the world an inside look at what life was like for parents raising a child born with that extra 21 chromosome. (For those of you that have no idea what I just said, children with Down syndrome are born with a 3rd copy of their 21st chromosome, as opposed to 2.)
Initially there were two groups of people I really wanted to reach with this website.
Group One: I just got a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome….now what!?
So many parents who receive a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome are led to believe that their life is going to be sad, or exceptionally difficult if they choose to bring their child with Down syndrome to full term. (Parenting is difficult in general. Having a child with Down syndrome doesn’t necessarily make it more difficult, per se.)
Many of these parents spend countless hours online researching information about down syndrome pregnancy, down syndrome cures, down syndrome causes, down syndrome resources, and all the rest. They are scared. Nervous. Anxious. Confused. But most of all they are hungry to know what it means to have a child with Down syndrome. Hungry to find out what their life will be like if they choose to bring their child to full term? Hungry to find out how different their life will be as a result of their new baby…who just happens to have Down syndrome. In other words; they are hungry to learn what a down syndrome diagnosis means.
My hope was (and still is) that as those moms and dads are desperately searching the internet for information, they would come across this website and see Noah. See our videos. See a sneak peek into the life of one family raising one child with Down syndrome. And that they would see that our story isn’t a sad one. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. (Then I hope they visit our Facebook page and meet thousands of incredible parents doing an awesome job raising a child with Down syndrome!) Continue Reading…
Yelp, it’s that time of the week again. Another fun-filled day of physical and occupational therapy for Noah. As you can see in today’s video his physical therapist is using treadmill training to help him learn to walk. Noah’s actually been doing it for a few months now, and it’s been neat to watch his little feet take more and more steps with each visit.
Therapy ≠ Hassle
If you’ve been following our story than you’ve probably noticed that we post a lot of videos from Noah’s various therapy appointments; that’s because we bring him to therapy 2 -3 times a week…so therapy has become a big part of our life. In fact, as often as we visit I feel like we should have our own parking space by now.
When we first started taking Noah to therapy I wondered how long it would be before all of these trips became a huge hassle. He has to be here several times a week, and it isn’t like we have buckets of spare time just sitting around our house. The actual therapy sessions are the easy part (for us at least.) It’s the getting ready, driving across town, fighting traffic, scheduling our day around his appointments, and trying to remember to put shoes on his feet (this little boy does not like shoes) as we hurry out the door that’s difficult.
The first thing we wanted to do in our new backyard was get our little man a swing. Our trees aren’t quite big enough so we are using our pergola over our back patio. Noah loves the swing. We use a very large one at our therapy sessions, and Noah has seen his fair share of swings in other people’s backyards. We have been waiting patiently to have a swing of our very own and today is the day.
My favorite part of swinging is Noah’s laugh. He does it every time he gets in the swing, and I can’t get enough of it. He just giggles away like he is having the best time ever. The laugh also encourages us to keep pushing to continue the fun. He has trained us well.
Think swings are just for fun? Think again.
We didn’t buy this swing for any other purpose but for Noah (and us) to have fun. However there are some great side benefits to swinging, not only for children with Down syndrome, but for all kids. Continue Reading…
One of my biggest fears when I first learned that Noah was born with Down syndrome was that I wouldn’t get to do all of the fun things dads got to do with their sons. Did children with Down syndrome still like to play? Did they like toys? Did they laugh, smile, and have fun? Would Noah want to play on my iPad one day? Would he even be able to use an iPad? I had no idea what to expect. As a dad, it was one of the scariest moments of my life.
(Spoiler alert: it was a very short moment!)
Down Syndrome Is More Than A Character On T.V.
Our family dog (Gizmo) is a little (a lot!) jealous of Noah!
My only knowledge about what it was like for someone to live with Down syndrome came from Corky on Life Goes On, and Becky on Glee. Apart from that I was left with an imagination full of false assumptions about what it was going to be like raising a child with Down syndrome. I guess you could say I wondered if Noah having Down syndrome meant I was going to miss out on some of the best things about being a dad. Continue Reading…
I spent almost an hour tonight writing a really great post to go with today’s video (at least I thought it was good!) It talked about how much we adults have to learn from our children….how they can help us regain our must needed sense of wonder, and curiosity…and why it’s so important for us to hold on them. Trust me, you would have liked it! (I think…)
Just as I was about to hit the publish button it, I lost all my work. Yelp, almost an hour’s worth of writing gone down the drain. Vanished into the abyss of all great lost documents, never to be seen again. I should know by now how important it is to save your work…..often, but I still take the risk. And my computer sometimes wins. Oh well. That’s how it goes.
"Hmmmm...What's this?" - Noah
I will quickly say I enjoy watching Noah grow and develop. Like today for instance, he had no idea what a straw was, but he keep going, kept pushing forward, until he figured it out. I like that.
There are lessons to be learned by watching how a child interacts with his world. Lessons we as adults must learn (or at least re-learn.) Lessons I’m to tired to retype tonight…. But I’m sure I’ll come back to it in another post. Continue Reading…
As I was putting together today’s video and thinking about what I was going to write about it, I decided I would just let the video speak for itself. We’ve written about the benefits of treadmill therapy for children born with Down syndrome, some of the best characteristics to look for when choosing a physical therapist for your child, and even what one of the major goals of physical therapy is for a child born with Down syndrome; so I figured today I’d take a second just to brag on my son.
I hope you don’t mind.
"Maybe this exercise ball would make a good afternoon snack!" - Noah
If you’ve been reading this blog for very long you know how proud I am of Noah. This little boy works hard. He goes to two physical therapy appointments a week, and two occupational therapy appointments a week….and always has a smile on his face (and sometimes a little throw up on his clothes afterwards!) Continue Reading…
You may have noticed at one point in today’s video Noah was motivated by a paper towel…yep, a paper towel. It’s a lot like playing with the box that the toy came in rather than the toy itself. Thank goodness I have these at home. I don’t seem to be using them for cleaning, so motivating my child it is…!
Motivators are essential in Noah’s therapy and development. They help turn hard work into play, core work into entertainment, and frowns into smiles.