About Me

My photo
After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The thing with a developing mind is once it gets going, it really goes fast!  

At least that seems to be what's happening with Maddie lately.  
The very first time a tried a sorting game with her she was only 21 months old.
 I had three different kinds of bugs and the same color bowl to help her out a bit, but this was way too advanced for her at this age.

But look at her now!!
At 41 months, she's sorting 9 different types of fruits and the bowls are not even color coordinated!

I am so proud of her!

I'm beginning to realize what we are really up against in terms of proving to the world what Maddie is capable of.  Her speech therapist suggested we try things with her that she's actually been doing for over a year now!  It's not really her fault.  Maddie hasn't shown off for her yet, but I did realize that unless the educators in her life know better, they will probably have the lowest level of expectation for her.
I hate that.
I've been reading another book by my hero, Barbara Curtis.

I love her because she's a former Montessori teacher and after having her own biological son born with Down Syndrome they adopted 3 more sons with DS!

Anyway, her method of teaching is so different than what's typical in most educational settings.  Instead of learning the alphabet, she teaches to learn the sounds of the letters and this eliminates the confusion that the letter "C" really says "kuh."
I thought this would probably be best for Maddie.
I called a Montessori school to just see about touring the place.
They were more than eager to set up a time for me to come take a look.
They asked me how old my daughter was.
I told her she was 3 1/2 and wanted to be upfront right away so I also told her she has Down Syndrome.
The mood changed in an instant.
All of sudden, she was stammering on the phone, her confidence completely shaken.
All of a sudden, she could no longer help me, because she was just a teacher, so the director would call me later.
Later came and went, and I still haven't received that phone call.
This, too is not her fault.
We sure have come a long way in the last 50 years when our kiddos were immediately institutionalized, and this was just a wake up call to me that there may just be a bit more trailblazing to be done.
I could tell by the tone in her voice that the thought of teaching a child with special needs frightened her.
That's normal.  It would scare me too.
But I'm convinced if Maddie were in this teacher's classroom, she would be no different than any other child.
The beautiful thing about Montessori education is it meets each child right where they are.  It's an environment designed to encompass a vast array of learning levels.

This phone call was just the first step in researching the best option for Maddie.  She may not be given the chance to enroll due to her diagnosis, or she may be the very first child with Down Syndrome to attend this school.

 Either way, I suppose we have a lot to prove.  

And Julie if you are reading this...we love Antioch!!!  If I had to choose education over a loving environment, love wins every time!
Maddie's teachers have been so wonderful this first year of preschool, it just brings tears to my eyes!
We love you!!