As part of World Down Sydrome Day I decided to volunteer diversity and inclusion units at Marble School. Over the next 2 weeks I will visit 6 classrooms. I know that I am best suited for the university classroom but WOW did I enjoy working with the third graders. They were so interested and so engaged! Yesterday I met with Ms. Daley's third grade class and I talked with the students about what makes all of us unique. I divided the students into pairs (except one group had three!) and they talked to each other about what makes them unique. When we came together as a group each student had a chance to say something about themselves and during the discussion we discovered that we would rather be called unique than "different." Then we looked at a chart of the 23 chromosomes and we talked about how chromosomes function and we noticed that they kind of look like worms. I explained that Joe has an extra chromosome on the 21st pair (I drew it in) and we talked about what that might mean for his health, his development, and other aspects of his life. The students were very interested and they particularly liked learning the term trisomy 21 and practicing it with other chromosomes (trisomy 7, trisomy 12, etc). They were interested to know if it was a good or bad thing that Joe has an extra chromosome. I said it was neither, it was just a thing, just what happened. One student said, "Hey, our class is sort of like Down Syndrome! You asked us to divide into pairs but it just happened that we had a group of three!" (I was hoping someone would notice that). I said, "Was that a good thing of a bad thing?" They said, "Just a thing."
I also told them that sometimes my feelings are hurt when other adults stare at Joe, or ask me what is wrong with him, or don't want to talk to him. When I asked if they could make suggestions about what I should say to them they said: "That is bullying! Just say that he has trisomy 21! Say nothing is wrong, he just isn't talking yet! You can report them to Ms. Preston (the principle)." Finally someone said, "Just say he is UNIQUE!"
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Today is World Down Syndrome Day: 3.21. = 3 chromosomes on the 21st pair. I am posting a photo of Joe at six months that I found as I have been looking through the pictures of the past four years. Unfortunately all of his birth photos were taken before Tutu & Papou gave us a digital camera!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
We went to the MSU butterfly house to take our annual Easter photo. Besides Joe & I being locked out in the cold of half an hour when Joe went to use the potty, and then Joe spilling the butterfly juice all over the front of his outfit, and Emma being deeply disappointed that she wasn't able to hold more than one butterfly....if was a fun visit. Here are some of the photos taken today. We are saving the best photo for our card.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Sunday, March 04, 2007
On Saturday we went roller skating with Mike, Stacy, Daniel, Molly and baby Charlie. Emma and Joe loved it! They both fell a number of times but they kept getting back up and by the time we left they were both skating without holding on to a parent's hand or the rail! Emma was very pleased by her progress and Joe continues to surprise us. Who knew he would learn to roller skate in a few minutes? Wow.
Look at Joe go!
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Sad news from our household. After less than a week, Spotty Lucky DeRogatis-Frilingos was discovered floating aimlessly behind the faux grass on the left side of the goldfish bowl. Emma was very sad and announced (despite evidence to the contrary) that "Spotty was my most lucky fish!" We gave Spotty a traditional goldfish burial at sea (you know what I mean) and now we are down to two. Emma has changed Ariel's name to Lucky because it is a gender neutral name and who can really tell with goldfish? In her words, "it's both a girl and boy name and that seems right because I think the brown spot on the tail means he is a boy, but who knows?" So now we have Speedy and Lucky who seem to be enjoying the extra space in the bowl. Also, Emma is no longer eating fish sticks.