Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tagged for 7 things about Me

I was tagged by Killashandra for a 7 things about Me meme. She is also participating in Unringing The Bell's, 31 for 21, to raise awareness for Down Syndrome (get the scoop here). I hopped over there and from there to Reece's Rainbow - an International ministry to raise funds and recruit families for overseas adoption of children with Down Syndrome. For 31 for 21, Reece's Rainbow will be highlighting a different child with Down Syndrome who is available for adoption, each day for the month of October! I must have spent an hour window shopping and falling in love with those sweet little angels! (Go over there, and you'll fall in love too.)

So, without further ado...

7 things about me (and Down Syndrome):

1. When my little brother, Gary, was born I was 14. He was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. My limited experience with children with Down Syndrome consisted of hanging out with my cousin, Wesley at a birthday party, and seeing some really cute kids on Sesame Street. My biggest concern was that kids might make fun of him and hurt his feelings.

2. When Gary was three, my biology teacher made some statements which sounded to me like "children with Down Syndrome or other genetic defects could become a thing of the past because of genetic engineering and abortion." I decided that the students in my class needed to know that that was not a future they wanted to participate in.

With my Principal's permission (he was my uncle), I did some research on Down Syndrome and brought my darling little brother to school with me, making sure that he was wearing his Nike tennis shoes, Izod Shirt, and Calvin Klein diaper cover (it was the 80's). I took him to Biology and requested some time to address the class. Soon, there was at least one classroom of Juniors who would never consider aborting a child with Down Syndrome. Gary had them wrapped around his little finger, and I requested extra credit (and got it!)

3. I aced most of my classes through High School and College, by recycling papers that I had written on Down Syndrome. If it was a speech class, I would talk about how Gary touched our lives. Science, it would be about genetics. Psychology, it would be a comparison of development between average children and children with Down Syndrome. Gary has earned me LOTS of A's! (Teachers ate it up because it always put a personal and emotional spin on my papers. Bwahahahaa!)

4. In college I did many of my service hours and projects in Gary's classrooms. That's why I decided to become a special education teacher! Talk about fun! In special education we celebrate the smallest achievements, because for some they are huge leaps! Besides that, we get to do so much practical, hand's on learning/teaching: bowling, hiking, cooking, shopping, social skills, etc. In college, we would often say,
Special education is regular ed., Done Right!

5. It irritates me to no end that "they" changed it from Down's Syndrome to Down Syndrome. I do not do well with change.

6. For my last 4 years teaching, I was in a classroom for Students with Moderate Mental Disabilities. About 4 out of 6 students had Down Syndrome. They are some of the most stubborn, sweet, smart, cute kids in the world. It was always my goal to work with them, and it was my priviledge to teach them.

7. I have always thought that someday I'd have a child with Down Syndrome. When I was teaching and pregnant with #5, I even tried names out with my students, to make sure he'd be able to pronounce his name correctly if he had DS. LOL!

Now, my facts were quite wordy and not very random, but yours don't have to be that long or that deep (I was just killing two birds with one stone :)

So... I tag

Sandi, Salsa Mama, Jules, Jyl, Debe, Natalie, and Jen (sorry she's private).

If you've been tagged, please play. But if you don't have the time or the inclination, no guilt. Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you and list these rules on your post.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, by leaving their names, as well as links to their blogs.

4. Comment to the people you've tagged and let them know they've been tagged.

Share the love! and go check out those darling babies with Down Syndrome.


Cheffie-Mom said...

I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for all you do to make a difference in our world and with our children.

Kristen said...

"They are some of the most stubborn, sweet, smart, cute kids in the world."
I second you on that statement. My nephew has Down's Syndrome. He recently received a service mission call and now serves as a program assistant at the seminary of a school for students with disabilities. He is super excited to be an Elder.

Mamarazzi said...

AWESOME post!! love the heartbeat behind it!

Are You Serious! said...

♥ That was awesome to read! My little sis has cerebral palsey and I used to do papers on her too! Although not as great as your sound! :)

Jen said...

SHoot, I'm so behind in my blog reading. Thanks for tagging me. I'll try and get it up soon!

As for your post, it was an incredible read. I really appreciate you sharing. You are one amazing woman!

Jen said...

Since I'm new to your blog, I have to ask--did your baby end up being Downs?

You have probably already seen this video, but if not, I hope you don't mind my sharing:

Michelle said...

I learned so much about're one special person. I haven't had many opportunities to be around people with DS. Maybe I should seek it out more. BTW, where is your brother now? I've never heard you talk about him before.

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