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.)
Adieu - After more than two years and 555 posts (556 counting this one!), I'm saying goodbye to Adventures in Motherhood. I'm ready for a change, and I've started ...
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