For those of you who are totally new to the world of Down Syndrome -
You're in for a surprising ride! This page is here to provide some insight
into life with Down Syndrome, the possibilities that are there - and the
acheivements of some of these great kids with Down Syndrome. Follow along -
and use the links as resource. Enjoy!
Sarah has Down Syndrome, and has just gone through graduation exercises from High School at our local school.
Sarah has been in a regular classroom since Kindergarten, and has had an aid in
the class with her for the academic subjects since seventh grade. Her
curriculum is modified to as close to her ability level as it can be -
sometimes it gets close, sometimes she's totally mystified by the homework! She is currently (2005) enrolled in the Adult Transition program and a class in cooking, and one in PE at the local Junior College. She rides Dial A Ride on her own to get home at the end of the school day.... carries her cell phone to keep us posted on where she is and that things are going okay. She fully intends to move out on her own one day !
Sarah knows how to type, she uses a MacIntosh at school and a PC here at home. She showed her dad this morning (November 2005) some tricks with graphics in Paint that he was not aware of.... makes her birthday shopping list in Word and prints it, and drew the design for the top of her birthday cake in Paint- printed it so that we would have a pattern! Sarah
has her own basketball hoop which she practices with nearly every day. She
shoots hoops like a pro - and knows how to guard well. Dribbling and passing
is more difficult, but she's getting there!
Sarah attended a week-long Science Camp with her
classmates in the middle of September, 1997 - she had a GREAT time there!
Her older sister, Meryl went along as her *buddy* for the week (thanks,
Meryl!). Sarah has
attended Early Intervention classes through our local schools since she
was around 18 months old. She has been in a regular class since Kindergarten,
with some years more successful than others.
The primary key to whether a year will be successful
depends on the classroom teacher and the support for Inclusion on campus.
We have attempted to tailor her IEP (Individual Educational Plan) each
year to aim toward more normalized education and socialization, but the
manner in which it's received by the classroom teacher from year-to-year
changes the emphasis of the IEP, ever so slightly.
Sarah is phenomenal - she is able to read, do basic mathematics
(even better with a calculator) and handle the basic skills necessary to
maneuver around campus successfully. Sarah has taken a couple of years of
in a regular class with other kids her age (and younger), roller-skates
like a demon, can turn near-perfect cartwheels (wish I could!), and plays
with the kids in the neighborhood just like any other kid. She has some
close friends at school, and others in the neighborhood. Sarah does have a
couple of very close friends with Down Syndrome - these girls get together and
play just about like any other bunch of girls!
Sarah fully intends to grow up and live on her own. In
fact - she threatens to do so nearly once a week! Sarah has three siblings
- Amber (29), Meryl (23), and Jeremy (17). Sarah also is an Aunt! Jade
is now nine years old, and baby Christian was born the summer of 2005. She holds her own in
the group - and is able to harrass nearly as much as she gets harrassed!
This page is your link to lots of resources that we have
found to be very useful in our search on Down Syndrome, Inclusion in Public
Education, and other issues related to Special Education.