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T21 Tidbits :: What is hypotonia?

Have you ever heard the term hypotonia, or low muscle tone?  This may be one of the most common characteristics in individuals with Down syndrome.  And it took me a while to truly understand exactly what it is and how it affects Beau.  Simply put, low muscle tone is a lot like muscles that are very relaxed.  And if you have ever had the honor to hold a little one with an extra chromosome you are nodding your head because you know the experience was a little different than holding a neurotypical baby or toddler.  They just melt into you like a little rag doll and it will steal your heart right out of your chest.  They are more squishy and they are the best at snuggling.  It also helps them to be super flexible. Hypotonia does not only affect the Down syndrome community, but it is a common thread (or superpower) that people in the community share.  Scientifically speaking, muscle tone is regulated by signals that travel from the brain to the nerves and tell the muscles to contract (Nati…
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T21 Tidbits :: No offense taken

In today's culture it seems that every time you turn around someone is offended in some way, and I find that offensive... 🙄.  Seriously though we are bombarded with new ways to offend others multiple times a day by the news, our newsfeed, billboards on the highway, and in print.  It becomes exhausting, amiright? Please don't misunderstand my message here; there are times when it is not only appropriate but extremely important to bring attention to a person or group of people who are attacking others because of differences, but that is not the point of this post. 

 I want to talk to you about how you can show genuine kindness for others in the Down syndrome community not because you are trying to be politically correct or inoffensive, but just because you are a human who wants to speak from a place that shows you care enough to consider your words.  Sometimes our words are the only tools we have to support others and they can be extremely powerful.  I would like to share 3 way…

T21 Tidbits :: Signs and Wonders

Happy October...or around my house it is Down syndrome Awareness Month.  This month I hope to bring you some things that I have learned along my parenting journey with Beau.  Educators, therapists, and healthcare providers tend to measure a child's developmental progress in 5 categories, or domains: 

1.  Language & Communication (communicate needs and wants) 2.  Cognitive (thinking, learning, perceiving) 3.  Physical  (gross motor skills and fine motor skills..handwriting, jumping, walking, running, dressing, feeding) 4.  Emotional (appropriate feelings...empathy, impulse control, self regulation, joy, resilience) 5.  Social (age appropriate interactions with peers..greetings, turn taking, relevant conversation)
Today let's talk Language Development and Communication, specifically the use of sign language in individuals with Down syndrome (especially babies, toddlers, and young children).  Beau is working on several commonly used signs right now such as "more", &q…

Homeschool Review: August

We had a "soft" start to school several weeks ago...mid August...I don't even remember the exact date.  This post is a review of what we have been learning so far.  Keep in mind that I am not using a purchased curriculum.  Thanks to Pinterest, the world wide web, and our local library I have found some great resources that fit the needs for both kids.  I use a lot of resources from THIS BLOG post as a guide to help me get started.   If/When we exhaust these free resources I will probably purchase a few things to keep things fun and challenging. 

LANGUAGE ARTS:  We are using McGraw Hill Grade 2 practice book as well as spelling. I request the books that go along with each unit from our local library.   And we are about half way into Unit 1.  I have used this resource to focus on the following skills:
Vocabulary:  ABC order, word families (-ell, -eat) Comprehension: character/setting,  story mapping, plot,  main idea/details Phonics: short a, short i, words with -s/-es, short …

summer reading book reviews

As you know from my previous post, I had three books on my TBR list for the summer.  Shockingly, I finished all 3 by early August.  Here are my thoughts and rankings.  Least to most favorite.....

#3:  Children of Blood and Bone:  ⭐⭐⭐☆☆

*What I liked:  
-the sibling bonds (two sets of siblings both brother/sister with different yet strong bonds)
-a girl hero
-short chapters (easy for start and stop reading that is my life right now)
-multiple points of view

*What I did not like: 
I confirmed my non-preference of the fantasy genre. There was so much rising and falling action. Is that typical for the fantasy genre?  This is a great book for anyone who enjoys fantasy and/or dystopian society setting (an imaginary society that is as dehumanizing and as unpleasant as possible).  If anyone has a fantasy recommendation that could change my opinions about it, please share!  

#2 "That Kind of Mother" ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆
This was a fairly quick read.  I liked that the author used multiple points of view.  Of…

privilege :: it happens

I have debated on whether or not to share this.  I finally landed with the decision that (hopefully) the benefit will outweigh (or at least overshadow) the risk.  I trust that my words will lead you to know that I speak from a place of love and and solidarity.  I pray that when my non-white sisters and brothers read this they do not receive a message that seems to say, "See, it happens to me too."  Because it doesn't. This is only my interpretation of a set of events followed by my connection to the world around me.  This is me fitting a certain set of events into a reality that people of color face regularly and more often to a higher degree.

This is my story of empathy.

 My family and I live on the outskirts of Baltimore.  This particular part of the country..the a beautiful place.  Sure.. there is beautiful history and monuments and architecture and harbors.  But the beauty that I am speaking of is the people. If ever there was a "melting pot" I hav…

Beau turns ONE

Baby Beau,
We made it! We survived a year.  Once again, I am surprised at how fast another year has come and gone.  You have delighted our hearts every single day.  This time last year we were preparing our home and hearts for one last baby.  We were anxiously waiting for you to make a boy into a brother and a girl into a sister.  And what a sweet, sweet blessing it has been to watch them care for you with joy.

Before you arrived there were so many things we didn't know yet.  We didn't know the color of your eyes, the texture of your hair, the tone of your skin, the shape of your nose or lips or chin. Would you have long fingers like your sister?  Would your belly button be an outie like your brother?  It was all a surprise we couldn't wait to discover.  You also came with your own surprises tucked deep inside. A teeny tiny surprise.... a beautiful extra chromosome.  The doctors suspected it right away because of your almond  shaped eyes.  And when they told me their suspi…