Saturday, October 6, 2012

31 for 21 - Sharing our successes publicly

I wrote this when K was about 4.5 & never published it because I just didn't feel like I was getting the words right.  It has been almost a year & I find that I am already starting to share more.  I still don't often start the conversation because like I stated later in this post, how do you start a conversation without blurting out "My kid has been reading since she was a baby."? However, kids K's age are now starting to do a little early reading so it comes up in conversation.   Anyways, here is what I wrote:

I never really planned to be public about our family life. Really, honestly, I am pretty content to just enjoy my family all to myself.  Early learning isn't the sort of thing that I even talk about much with people in our community, because really, how often does the subject of how well your 3 or 4 year old can read come up in conversation ? Only occasionally do I talk about it & sometimes it does lead to wonderful conversations. Like the lady this morning, who was also looking at books at the 2nd hand store (I'm sure I've mentioned before that I have to buy 2nd hand to keep up with K's voracious appetite for books:)!  We were both choosing very carefully,  & got into a conversation about the reasons why.  As it turns out, her soon to be granddaughter, through adoption, is facing some big challenges . I shared my blog addy, & hopefully, we'll get to chat again one day soon. I even have lots of early reading materials to share if that would help. But, back to my point. Unless I feel it will help someone, I  usually don't feel it is appropriate to blurt it out, so I don't bother. People are already noticing, but I feel that i have time to slowly change perceptions....& honestly, without carrying around video proof for people to see, I really truly don't think they fully understand. Their kids didn't learn to read until age 5 or 6, how believable is it that my kid started closer to her 1st birthday?  Often, I think when I say that K is reading, people think she can recognize a few words, or that she talks about the pictures when she looks at them. Slowly, as K is getting older, people are noticing anyways, & before she enters school, we will make sure that her teachers & anyone involved are aware of her abilities. It is interesting though, perhaps because of her sisters, most of the kids at school already often comment that she is the  "smartest little kid I know."

I have done a couple of public talks too, & really enjoyed it but both were to very small groups & one was in a community that is 3 hours away.

 K's accomplishments have amazed me enough that I think it is necessary to share which is why I started my blog.I think other patents of kids with Down syndrome should hear tye fantastic possibilitues not just the negatives of DS.  f I hear of any local babies with DS or other reasons for needing this knowledge, I am excited to share also, but in the  meantime we'll just slowly carry on, quietly changing stereotypes one person at a time.

So, how do you feel about this.  Looking back I think I'm starting to realize that I need to share a lot more than I am, but then again, how & when do I approach the subject? I'm only starting to get more comfortable sharing online!


  1. As the mom of a little one with Down syndrome, your blog was SO encouraging to me! I found it before my girl was born, and just was SO amazed. Your blog has shown me not to have my expectations set too low. We're not doing the early reading with our daughter, but we're speaking two languages to her. Our older daughters are bilingual, too, and we are hoping the same for our youngest.

    I think it would be great if more people knew about K's early reading. I notice that people around our daughter are sometimes amazed when she does something they don't expect, even though she is still pretty young. I would be impressed with ANY child reading that early. But I see that it is hard to just mention it casually in a conversation. But as soon as people have any questions about her abilities (or limitations, like some people ask us sometimes), I would definitely bring it up!!!

    Thanks for your great blog!

  2. Such an encouragement! I have to keep it all in perspective though. We have many hurdles and because her first 4.5 years in an orphanage, well I have to keep it in perspective. Balance. I started using your ideas last school year but somehow she lost all her words over the summer. I've backed up to the beginning and I'm hoping we can make progress once again. Keep up the good work and keep sharing.

  3. I too, am so thankful you have shared! I found your blog the week Moriah was born (nearly 5 months ago), and you have been a fantastic resource and inspiration to me.

    As to the how and when, I don't know. Maybe picture yourself sitting down to chat with a newer mom who has asked just the right question . . . and I and others will be waiting here to take notes. :)