Sunday, November 18, 2012

Has Versus Is

Tomorrow we have a wonderful opportunity. The three of us are going to a class filled with future  teachers. The class is called "Exceptional Children" - sounds right up Abby's alley, doesn't it? I'm looking forward to it, as I usually do when I get the opportunity to talk about Abby.

We're scheduled to have 45 minutes of the class period. I figured that most of our time would be letting Abby speak for herself, and charm them all to pieces, but I also know that they will want to hear from us as well. Tonight we got a list of questions that the students came up with, so that we can focus our discussion. Here was question number one:

"When was your daughter diagnosed, or when did you find out she was Down syndrome?"

I have to admit that I had to read the question several times, it was the second "was" that threw me. They had inadvertently hit upon my biggest pet peeve, Abby isn't Down syndrome - she has Down syndrome, there's a huge difference. Now my dilemma became, How do I get that point across in a constructive way? I asked Jason that same question, "How do I tell them that Abby is more like other kids, than she's not like them - that Down syndrome doesn't define Abby, that it is something that she has, but not what she is?" And that lovely man told me, "Like you just told me."

So, in essence, the short answer question they gave us, has now become my main teaching point. This is why it is so important to me to do things like this. I want people to understand that Abby is unique because she is Abby. Down syndrome is just one of the things that makes her who she is. I strongly feel that this is important for everyone to know - but especially those who may one day have an "exceptional child" in their sphere. My prayer is that we can all make that point.

This picture had me laughing all day. She was putting on a
show this morning at Sunday School. I can't tell if she is
leading a discussion panel, or telling the room her best joke.

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