Megan Bomgaars, a young woman with Down syndrome, speaks to teachers about best practices for teaching an individual with disabilities. She has an incredible ability to capture in words exactly what teachers need to do or not do to help children with disabilites achieve their full potential. Please watch this video and send it along to those who might benefit from the information!
A study published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics reports that parents, siblings, and children/adults with Down syndrome have had positive life experiences related to Down syndrome. One statistic definitely resonates with me: 79% of parents surveyed felt their outlook on life was positive because of their child with DS. Auggie has certainly changed my life view...for the best. Please check out this article:
Chelsea Werner, a young lady with Down syndrome, has wowed people all over the globe with her abilities as a gymnast. Check out this article discussing the 10 years that she has put into gymnastics and the pay-offs. I know I have looked at my son with Down syndrome and thought that gymnastics most certainly should be in his future (his feet are his arm rests in his car seat)...This article gives me even more confidence!
I just recently watched a documentary, "Shorty" about a man in his 50's with Down syndrome named Walter Simms. He worked at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, primarily with the football team. This film follows an incredible legacy that he created at Hampden-Sydney and how his presence affected students, faculty/staff, and friends of Hampden-Sydney. I recommend checking it out. It is available on Netflix through the disc rental.
I just stumbled upon this young man's blog and it is impressive and entertaining! Daniel Drinker is a twenty-something with Down syndrome and his brother, Will has been recording his adventures both on the blog and on video. I have watched a few of the video clips and for me, the relationship between Will and his brother is the special part about this blog/future documentary. Daniel is a clever young man and I am sure you will enjoy his website. A documentary about Dan has just been finished and I wrote them to find out how/where it will be accessible in the future so I will post this information when I receive it! For now, enjoy www.dandrinker.com
This is a book that will be released in September 2011 about the politics behind Down syndrome. It was written by the father of a 6 year-old son with Down syndrome. It has received great reviews from DownsEd International CEO, Frank Buckley. The author addresses debates like finding a blood test for Down syndrome and the limited knowledge that the general public and lawmakers have about Down syndrome (as well as the generalizations that exist). I am looking forward to reading it! Here is a link to the article:
Great article about three young boys with Down syndrome who are involved in a new program for kids with DS in Scotland that will be led by professional soccer players. This reminds me of the Jensen-Schmidt Tennis Academy, a tennis camp specifically for kids with Down syndrome (they have a camp in DC). I can't wait for Auggie to be old enough to go! Check out their website - they have a great video about their camp.
I'll be sure to add this to the resouces page!
The HBO documentary MONICA AND DAVID was available on Youtube, but was taken off, however, it is available on Netflix. This documentary follows a couple who both have Down syndrome and are getting married and navigating through the different considerations for independent living as adults with an intellectual disability. Be sure to check it out!
I also came across two other documentaries on Youtube about a young boy named Peter who has Down syndrome who was part of the first group to be fully included in a regular education classroom. The two documentaries are Educating Peter and Graduating Peter and they are both available on Youtube. Here is the link to the first part of Educating Peter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBv0AedUNI8&feature=related and this is the link to the first part of Graduating Peter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6AwCVg_3fE&feature=related.
Enjoy and be sure to post your thoughts after watching.
Even though SOU is continuing to uphold their unsupported decision to exclude Eliza Schaaf from the ceramics class in which she was enrolled, there has been good news about higher education for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The article below was posted yesterday and covers the story of Ben Majewski who is in his first semester at Massachusetts Bay Community College. He has been welcomed by the school community and this college is one of many creating programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities who would like to pursue higher education. Be sure to check out Ben's story as well as watching Eliza's story, which may be the beginning of a major change in the way colleges look at both potential and current students with intellectual disabilities.