Thursday, April 2, 2009

WOWWWWW!!!

Okay, so tonight was Open House at Joey's school. Very fun. I love his teacher and it was wonderful seeing Joey in his natural habitat, the classroom (the kid loves school). We also toured the second grade classrooms, as he will be in second grade in the fall. Also, we toured the kindergarten classrooms, as the twins will start K in the fall.

Sooooo. We're in the first kindergarten classroom looking around and in comes this family. They had a young daughter, kindergarten age, and an older daughter . . . with Down syndrome. I could not tear my eyes away from her. And I decided right then and there that, darnit, I was not going to let this opportunity slip away. I had Finn in the Ergo and I walked up to the mother and touched her on the arm and I know I stammered something . . . I don't even remember what. And I pointed to Finn and said, "My son has Down syndrome." I stammered some more and then said, "I'm sorry for being so forward. I don't know the right way to approach someone like this, I'm still kind of new to this." She just smiled and said, "That's how you approach people, exactly like you just did." So she and the dad and I talked for several minutes and they were sooooo nice. Their daughter with Ds is named Hannah and is 13, and I asked about where she goes to school, etc. And you know, for the very first time, the prospect of an older child with Ds - that "window into the possible future" - did not scare me. I felt this need to connect not only with her parents, but with her. She was very sweet, but shy. When I was finished talking to her mom, I said to her, "Thank you Hannah, for letting me have your mom for a few minutes. It was really nice to meet you." And she held out her hand and shook my hand and said, "Nice to meet you too." The mom gave me her home phone number and told me that she hopes to hear from me :)

I walked out of there feeling all amped up and happy. But wait, it gets better!

When we were talking, she asked me if I knew about RIO. Nope, never heard of it. She told me that it's a center-based program that provides global therapies to children with disabilities, much like one that Cheri recently told me about but which is too far from my home and impossible for me to get to with the other kids' school schedules and whatnot. This program, however, this RIO - it's right smack here in my town! I came home and Googled it and check this out: http://www.rio-rehab.com/Children/cdpf.htm#Funding . They provide home based therapies and center-based. This could possibly be a totally awesome supplement to the weekly PT that Finn is receiving, don't you think? I am so all over this. I emailed the program director already to get an appointment to talk about enrolling Finn.

What a night!

(Oh, also, I almost forgot to mention: turns out, Michael found out today that one of the nurses at his oncologist's office has a 7-year old son with Ds :) They talked and she told M that I could call her anytime.)

13 comments:

Chrystal said...

Great! I'm so, so happy for you!

I keep meaning to post about some meetings I've had with other parents, but I just haven't for some reason. Perhaps I will do that soon, now that you have it at the forefront of my mind again.

Ann said...

So glad you could meet someone that would ease your fears. Sounds like a wonderful night.

Michelle said...

That's awesome! I love meeting new parents and a majority of the time I learn something new. Sounds like a great night:)

SunflowerMom said...

Perfect timing! I love when that happens! Glad you got a lead on a good local resource. THUMBS UP!

Tausha said...

How wonderful is that!!! To have a good support group with someone who has older kids with Ds's really helps us to see the future in a more positive way. We are really trying to get families together in our area but the older ones don't seem to want to, not sure why?? Guess they are to busy as they all have other kids as well. I am so happy for you!!!

Maureen said...

I'm so glad you had such a good experience.

Adrienne said...

Although, I'm not where you are yet it's so nice when I meet people other parents that have older children with DS that are willing to be great resources when we do get there and to see their children. Glad to hear you found a center that can help!

Jaida said...

Oh wow, I am so glad you have experienced this turning point. I feel like all of us parents have this particular moment (or it may be more of a process), but at some point you just get the sense that it is going to be OK. There are so many people out there enjoying the heck out of kids like ours...I've yet to meet another parent who doesn't get stars in their eyes when they talk about their child with DS.

I heard someone once describe being a parent of a child with DS as getting to join the best club you never knew you wanted to be a part of. I'm glad you got a glimpse of that!

datri said...

I'm so glad you were able to make a positive connection. You better call her, LOL!

starrlife said...

You can come by my house anytime to meet mine, age 9! I'm so happy for you!

Lovin Mama said...

Meeting other moms is my favorite thing about having a kid with DS! I need to meet more local moms.

Tricia said...

So glad for your positive experience. Isn't it AWESOME?

And like ALex and I always joke "They're everywhere!" hahahaha

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Awww I LOVE encounters like that! I'm so glad you went up and talked to her!!! Can't wait to hear about the Rio program!