D iz for Different Book Trailer

And here it IS y’all … the “D iz for Different” book trailer http://youtu.be/3GUo0ZNny_s! Have FUN sharing it if you feel appropriate! Thanks y’all!

A % of sales will be donated to Turning Views Foundation (DIG) and The Chromosome 18 Registry! Happy Sunday! –Camilla Downs

Handicap This!

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(Guest Contributors Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach – They blog at Handicap This!) Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach met in the summer of 2001.  Tim was hired to help Mike, a 12 year old with cerebral palsy, as his aide in elementary … Continue reading

Flexibility Training Led to Different iz Good

We love acknowledging those that Get Involved with the Different iz Good movement and the Turning Views Foundation ~ And, this one’s a biggie! The slogan Different iz Good . . . Spread the Word may never have existed but for the comments of a fellow Chromsome 18 Mom. In 2008 we were discussing how our beautiful special needs kiddos do not like change and changes in their schedule or routine that cause things to seem different. Susan Moran commented that they really stress in their house that different is good and show it by changing furniture around often and other methods. My eyes, heart and soul wrapped around those words and with Susan’s permission I tucked it away to “incubate” until the timing was right! You are a beautiful rockin Mom Susan! Here’s an explanation straight from Susan herself –

“Different is Good is a comment that is spoken in our house about every other sentence. It started as flexibility training for my darling IM who does NOT like change in schedule, routine, activity, etc… We sing and dance and chant, different is good, who can handle it? Then, the idea morphed into all differences are good…different people, people with differences. Wow, it is really going somewhere.”

A Glimpse at a Different Family

(Guest Contributor Alisha Marie Peters – Alisha blogs at The Moments That Change Everything)

Being a parent of a special needs child, I know that people often wonder about us. I know that we are often looked at with pity, and this saddens me the most, because we are in on “the secret”…. having these special little souls we’ve been lucky enough to raise has given us an inside scoop on the meaning of  what life is really all about.

Sure it’s hard sometimes, because there are certain things that definitely set us apart from “typical” families….

We spend our money on very different things- therapy, medications, medical equipment, adaptations to our homes and vehicles, special food (formula), countless medical bills!

Taking a trip anywhere is very different…. especially vacations. And I could never dream to take a vacation somewhere with my husband and leave my girl with someone. Couldn’t expect anyone to do the stuff we do…. administering her dozen or so medications everyday, including one by injection. Making her special formula and prepping it for her g-tube because she can’t eat much by mouth and is severely allergic to a lot of foods. And heaven forbid if that tube comes out of her stomach (and unfortunately it does… a lot!), her dad and I are the only ones who have ever replaced it. And then there’s the worry that something would go wrong- when she gets sick… it’s different…. a lot of the time she needs a hospital stay… But we do take vacations…. we just take our girl and half our home with us!

We see our kids get left out a lot…. but that’s why we try harder to make up for that.

But we have learned to appreciate things a lot more. Sure all parents are excited when their kids hit certain milestones, but for us, when a lot of us have been told that there’s a chance our kids might not do these things… then it’s like moving mountains to us.

We also appreciate every moment of every day, because a lot of us don’t know how much time we’ll have with these precious kids. Every day truly is a miracle.

My daughter makes life easier with her attitude. She is honestly the happiest child I have ever known, and being in the education field, that is really saying something! It is remarkable to me that despite the fact that she goes through way more than most would in a lifetime, she still has the best attitude imaginable! Makes it that much easier for me to have a good attitude too.

So, yes we are different from most families….

But, as you can see we’ve come to the conclusion that different is not so bad!

About Guest Blogger

 

This post was written by a guest contributor.  Please see their details on our Contributors page.  If you’d like to guest post for Different iz Good check out our Write for DIG page for details about how YOU can share your stories and tips with our community.

A Different View: Mainstreaming and Inclusion

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(Guest post by Torrie Bryant – Learn more about Torrie by visiting our Contributors Page) Ever since the mid 1970’s there’s been a major debate over educational placement for kids with significant special educational needs in the US. Should kids, with disabilities attend … Continue reading

Samantha Enjoys Christmas in a Different Way

(Guest post by Monica McDivitt – Monica blogs at Like a Butterfly)

Samantha is running back and forth in the front hallway. She is flapping her arms and giggling. I watch, smile and walk into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. Suddenly, I hear bells jingling on the Christmas tree. I look over and see the top of the tree moving from side to side. I stop what I am doing and walk over to the family room to see what Sam is up to. Is she pulling an ornament off of the tree? Trying to sit on or tackle the tree? I enter the room. She is wearing her pink and gray leopard print gown. Her hair is messy but it is pulled back into a ponytail. She is sitting quietly in front of the tree, admiring the lights and trinkets. I know she was probably trying to sit on the tree but all is good. She is safe and happy and that is all that matters.

John and I carefully purchased a new tree this year because Sam had mangled the old tree. After 4 years of being leaned on, sat on and knocked over, half of the lights were no longer operating and the bottom branches were touching the floor. It only took one day before this new tree began to look like the old one, except this one has the multicolored lights instead of the clear ones. John and I figured Sam would enjoy the different colors.

The truth is that Sam doesn’t understand Christmas or any other holiday. She is usually quite easygoing but will run and look for a quiet place to hide if there are too many people around. She will refuse to eat in a large social environment, even if she is at home. For this reason, we miss out on many extended family gatherings. If we do attend, John and/or I have to chase Sam around to make sure she doesn’t grab and eat dirt from houseplants, play with toilet water, break something or go into meltdown mode. I then find myself explaining her behavior(s) to family and/or friends. Though I do not mind educating others about Sam, the ‘chasing around’ and meltdowns are not fun and the only solution to this type stress and chaos is to have holiday events at our own home where Sam can feel safe and disappear into her room if she feels the need to do so.

Sam is sweet, smart, funny and craves her routine. She recognizes that many things are different this time of year so we continue to follow a routine throughout the holidays. I know it sounds dull and boring but John and I must do what is beneficial for Sam. When change does occur we do our best to get her through it successfully. Since Sam is nonverbal and still does not understand how to use communication devices, I often wonder what goes on in her mind. How does she feel? What is she thinking? Is she afraid? I am not sure if these are things I will ever truly know but I have much faith and hope and continue to work with her daily.

For the time being, I know she likes Christmas trees, lights and ornaments. She picks one ornament off of our tree each time she passes and by the end of the night several ornaments are scattered throughout the house and I find myself picking up the same ones every night. I also know that she doesn’t care about presents and never demands anything (except her baths or snacks). It can take several days after Christmas before she is interested in opening a single gift. Tissue paper, bows, tulle, wrapping paper, gift bags are often more interesting than the gifts themselves and this is okay. As long as I see a smile on Sam’s face I know she is content. This is Sam. She is easy to please and John and I are blessed.

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About Guest Blogger

This post was written by a guest contributor.  Please see their details on our Contributors page.  If you’d like to guest post for Different iz Good check out our Write for DIG page for details about how YOU can share your stories and tips with our community.