Here's the latest article from the Children with Special Needs site at BellaOnline.com.
Camp Prime Time Family Camp
Camp Prime Time is a family camp in the Wenatchee National Forest near Clear Lake and Yakima, WA. Children, teens or adults with a developmental or physical disability or serious health condition and their families can enjoy a relaxed, supportive and inclusive community in a beautiful setting.
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We are already halfway through the month of October that we celebrated as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month the first weekend at the Puget Sound Down Syndrome Buddy Walk. We spent four amazing hours in the company of people with Down syndrome, meeting darling babies and charming adults, families of all kinds, and many friends. Those who plan and carry out events like the Buddy Walk may not realize what the experience means to each person who participates, so if you get a chance, just say, "Thanks." You or your child may inspire another family just by being there, celebrating the true diversity in any population. This week's article about Camp Prime time reminded me how important it is to spend time in the company of other families who are on their own journey with a diagnosis or undefined host of symptoms.
If you have a chance to be 'in community' no matter what diagnosis or advocacy event you attend, I hope you will enjoy your time as much as I enjoyed that Sunday afternoon. It is important that families of babies and young children understand that the history of meaningful opportunities for children with developmental disabilities began in a significant way 40 years ago at the early intervention program at the University of Washington and we know everything we need to know to give every child a good start and the support they need to show us who they are meant to be.
Reading the 'student profiles' at http://www.anewera4ds.org/profiles.php I recognized two of the older adults we chatted with at the Buddy Walk. All of us should be looking back as well as looking forward to the brightest future we can build for each of our sons and daughters. Most of all, we should be enjoying every day as it happens because we are not living a dress rehearsal for life, we are all in the midst of our own. Just as every person with the same diagnosis is as different from the next person with their diagnosis, each of our children will grow up to be unique individuals living lives we can barely imagine.
We work so hard in parenting, advocacy, and the mundane matters of each day, we deserve the luxury of falling short of our own and everyone else's expectations of being superhero moms and superhero dads who keep it all together all the time. Our kids deserve for their lives to be 99% childhood and less than 1% about a disability, and so do we. Even though my son's challenges from his diabetes adventures can easily crowd 72 rocky hours into a day for a week or two, his time is 99% regular life and less than 1% diabetes. It is very hard to see from the outside, but from the inside out it works very well for him.
Every family and every member of a family has something going on that can be delightful, distressing, or both. Hopefully we can accept this and go forward in friendship, sharing our cares and lifting one another up no matter how complicated our lives become. There are so many of us it is a wonder we don't find one another everywhere we look.
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Pamela Wilson, Children with Special Needs Editor
Access to Communication and Education Technology
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Halloween Safety Tips
Costumes for Children with Special Needs
Down Syndrome and Type One Diabetes Dual Diagnosis
Inappropriate Remarks from Other Parents
Advocating for Inclusion - Unexpected Benefits
Sharing a Prenatal or Newborn Diagnosis
The Disability Hierarchy, Equity and Advocacy
Children and Sign Language
Encouraging Late Talking Children
Is Diversity Like A New Box of Crayons?
Feeding Therapy for Children
Food and Eating Issues - Childhood Disabilities
Mental Wellness in Pregnancy and Motherhood
Mothering Babies with Special Needs
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Welcome to Holland - Today and Yesterday
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School Bus Rides - Children with Special Needs
Raising Awareness About Disabilities
Transition Planning for Teens w/ Disabilities
Encouraging Friendship - Childhood Disabilities
Inspirational Mothers - Down Syndrome Advocacy