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Night to Shine

This morning I received a link to this amazing organization.  I needed to share it with you all today!  (Thank you Illi!  I love how you send me random bits of awesomness!!)

I think for the most part, the majority of you can look back and remember your prom night almost perfectly.  For the girls, the day consisted of getting our hair done, getting our make up just right and finally getting dressed in the dress that took weeks to find!  For that one night, everyone is a princess!  Unfortunately, for a lot of teens with special needs, this night never happens.  Yes, there are amazing stories of teens who go to schools where their peers have accepted and loved them.  They are able to join in on all the glitz and glamor of the night and cherish the memories they are making.  But sadly that isn’t the case worldwide.  Which is why, Night to Shine is so amazing!

What Is Night to Shine?

Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God’s love, for people with special needs ages 14 and older. On one night, February 10, 2017, 375 churches, from around the world, hosted Night to Shine for 75,000 honored guests through the support of 150,000 volunteers!

Check out the Official 2017 Night to Shine Highlight Video featuring Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts below:
https://youtu.be/kfSLyfFwDks

Doesn’t that look like just the best night ever!?  Each invite is treated to the royal treatment and through the night, each one will be crowned King or Queen of the Prom 🙂  How amazing that for this special event, each teen is given their chance to shine, the way they were intended to.  I would love for Jana to experience something like this one day!  Who knows, maybe she’ll even be able to meet her Prince Mikey face-to-face 😉

Learn more, or even help out by checking out this link!  Night to Shine

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A couple with Down syndrome is fighting to have children

1475597215635I found this article (A couple with Down syndrome is fighting to have children) on Yahoo! today.  Its a topic that I think every parent of a child with disabilities can relate to.  On “Born This Way” we’ve watched Meg try to convince her mother that parenthood is in her near future.  One day Juan and I will be discussing this with Jana.  Should adults with Down Syndrome have children? Current statistics show that a couple who both have Down Syndrome will have a 50/50 chance of having a child with DS.  That’s not taking in account the fact that only 15-30% of woman with DS are fertile.

So who makes the decision if they should conceive or not?  The majority of adults with DS still need help to do day to day activities.  Many parents continue to support and help their children way into adulthood.  If there was a baby brought in, those parents will most likely raise the child.  Even if the DS couple had full intentions to care and raise their child, it just might not be a possibility.

The article post:

“That makes me feel very worried, apprehensive, and concerned,” Anderton’s mom says, and Cox’s dad agrees: “I don’t see parenthood being something that they’re going to achieve, or really they probably should achieve.” He notes it would be “very difficult” for the couple to handle not only day-to-day activities such as having jobs and driving, but also parenting skills such as helping out with homework and dealing with adolescent issues.

What is the answer?  Are parents of children with DS allowed to take extreme measures to sterilize their children?  Do they support and raise the new baby in order for their children to experience everything in life?  Do they try to educate and convince their children that parenthood is not an option?  These are very difficult questions that unfortunately can only be answered by each individual family.

It’s incredibly heartbreaking to know I will have to have this conversation with Jana one day.  I want her to experience everything possible in life just like the typical kids around her.  But I just don’t know what I will tell  her on that day when she asked me when she will have children.

Check out the full article and I would love to heart your thoughts!

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A little Inspiration

I came across this article and wanted to share it with you.  It is about a woman, Judith, a twin, born with Down Syndrome in 1943.  At the time her family had no idea the full effects of her diagnoses or that she was completely deaf.  She was sent to live in an institution at the age of 7.  From then on, she hardly had contact with her family, even her twin sister.  After many years apart, the sister eventually reunited and Joyce, her twin, was granted guardianship of Judith.  Soon Judith started creating amazing sculptures with yarn, twine and basically anything else she could get her hands on.  This woman, who never said a single word, was finally having a way of communicating.

Joyce recently wrote a book about the girls lives and the amazing art her sister created.  At the age of 61, Judith passes away but her art has lived on and is inspiring both the disabled and typical communities.

Read the full article here : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/judith-scott-joyce-scott-art_us_57c9cdafe4b0e60d31df1b2c

You can also find Joyce Scott’s book here: Entwined: Sisters and Secrets in the Silent World of Artist Judith Scott

57c9e53b170000172ac7750b  “The first piece of Judy’s work I see is a twinlike form tied with tender care,” Joyce writes.  “I immediately understand that she knows us as twins, together, two bodies joined as one.  And I weep

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Friends fight school for boy with Down Syndrome

I think it’s my biggest fear.  That Jana will attend school one day and the kids will not accept her.  All we hear about are school bully’s and how horrible kids with disabilities are treated.  I remember being in school and honestly hardly ever interacting with any of the “special ed” kids.

This story brings a smile to my face!!  When a young boy, Brady, was told he could no longer attend the school he had grown up in, his classmates rallied round and fought to keep him there.  Why was he being moved?  Because the school didn’t feel that they were fit to give Brady the schooling he needs.  Unfortunately, this happens quite often.  Children with special needs cost the school more money than typical children do.  So a majority of students are sent to schools that focus on specialized care.

Thankfully Brady was given the OK to attend school with his longtime friends for another year.  This might be something his mother has to continue to fight for.  But it seems to me, Brady’s friendships are worth the fight!

Check out the full article here:  Friends fight school for boy with Down syndrome

“He’s one of the kindest kids in our grade,” proclaimed Owen Armstrong, 10. “Every day, I wake up and I’m looking forward to school because Brady goes there.” “He’s taught me so many things through the time that I’ve known him. … He lights up the room whenever he’s around. He helps people when they’re down,” said Ella Blakeley, 11. “He makes people laugh.”