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Respectful language means using "person first" word order, and avoiding use of the "R-word" and hate language. But being aware of the damage that hate language and bullying causes means that we can no longer be bystanders when others use derogatory words and comments to tease vulnerable children.
Child Models with Down Syndrome Raise Awareness
Children and teens with Down syndrome have been models in catalogs and newspaper advertisements for the past quarter century, delighting and inspiring families and communities.
Shoe Shopping and Children with Special Needs
Shopping for shoes, wearing and caring for them can be a challenge with any child. Down syndrome adds to the difficulty due to some physical differences common in children with DS as well as sensory issues and developmental delays that are also challenging for other children with special needs.
We Can End the R-Word in Movies and TV
The R-word is hate language offensive to individuals with developmental delays or intellectual disability. Individuals and advocates can help ban the R-word by raising awareness, urging everyone to pledge not to use the word, and expressing expectations that scripts include people with disabilities.
Growing Up with an Intellectual Disability
When my son was a baby I did not consider what he might think about growing up with Down syndrome. He did let me know all along that he has a very different perspective on his life and diagnosis than I could have predicted. We are both so fortunate he had role models and media representation of DS.
Shoes for Children and Teens with Down Syndrome
Some children with Down syndrome have sensory issues or are especially troubled by shoes that have not been properly fitted and will kick them off at the worst possible times. Custom orthotics that fit in shoes half a size larger often help children and teens with balance and gait anomalies.
Environmental Issues and Childhood Disabilities
Environmental dangers to children require strict regulations and earnest measures to reduce or eliminate disease, infection and related childhood disabilities. Dangers include toxic chemicals in products and environments; all types of indoor air; soil and water pollution; and inadequate sanitation.
A Smile as Big as the Moon - More than Space Camp
The 2012 Hallmark movie "A Smile as Big as the Moon: A Special Education Teacher, His Class, and Their Inspiring Journey Through U.S. Space Camp" is as inspirational today as it was in 1989. The actor playing the student with Down syndrome is Peter ten Brink.
Teaching Babies to Self Soothe When Crying
Many babies who are are late to learn 'self-soothing' are not developmentally ready to take on that responsibility. Teaching an infant to self-soothe without being aware of what might be causing them physical discomfort or other distress is counterproductive to raising a resilient child.
Organ Transplants and Developmental Disability
In 1995, Sandra Jensen was initially denied a heart/lung transplant because she was born with Down syndrome and medical professionals felt she would be unable to manage post-operative care. In 2012, a young patient with intellectual disability was denied a kidney transplant even with a family donor
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