Yesterday I decided we were going to shake things up around here!  I told the kids if they got their work done in the morning we would have an indoor picnic!   We went to pick up the preschooler and we stopped by the grocery story to pick up some goodies for the picnic!

Indoor picnic: family time in front of the fireplace

A picnic in the house……So fun!

Family time: lunch on the floor for an indoor picnic

We picked up our goodies, built a fire and ate lunch!  We all sat on the floor on a quilt and ate lunch together.  Ryan told me it was the best lunch he ever had in his life!  HA!  In his life!  I know all the Mama’s out there know that when you hear that from your child it pretty much sends you over the moon and puts an arrow right into your heart.

Family time: smores infront of the fireplace

It is funny how just changing things up a little bit makes all the difference.  I am so thankful for the time I have with these little ones. I get busy and forget to pause and take in the moment.  They are growing up so fast and I know next year will be different.  Some will be in school and I will miss the little kindergarten I have right now.  I vow to savor the rest of this time.

Indoor Picnic: Special Friday lunch time activity

Making lunch special with an indoor picnic

This week I was faced with a situation where someone close to me made a comment about a disabled person.  I am sure it was not meant to hurt me, my family or the person the comment was made about.  It was a comment coming from someone who is unaware of the affects of what they say and how words hurt.  I am much more sensitive to words since Grace was born.  There are so many comments that are made that I know in my mind were not intended to cause me intentional pain but they hurt my heart.

Grace escaped from the house to the back deck

There are things that I want to share so that others might not make those unintentional or intentional mistakes.  Everyone walking this journey with our family feels differently about what might hurt them, I can only speak from my heart.

Grace crawling outside

Special needs 101…..

Please do on generalize (Children with Down Syndrome are so cute, Autistic kids are so smart……).  All children and adults disability or typical are not the same.  Everyone has their own genetic makeup, their own personality, their own likes and dislikes, good days and bad days….you get the drift.  Making generalizations like that is like saying all kids with blue eyes always smile or kids that write with their right hand are so smart.  Generalizations are annoying.  Our kids are their own person and making a generalization about them isn’t fair to them or their families.

Family 101: treat others as you would like to be treated

Using their disability as an adjective to describe them hurts.  We want nothing more for our kids to be seen like everyone else.  We understand that they have a disability.  To hear people talk about our kids as….that Down Syndrome girl or Aspergers kid well it hurts.  It is just another reminder to us that our child does not fit in or makes us feel as though you do not accept our child.

Special needs 101: Do not generalize others

Encourage us….and encourage our kids.  Notice how far they have come.

Special needs 101: love one another

(Look who escaped! No more leaving the door open boys, sister is on the MOVE!)

Look us in the eyes, smile….life is not always easy.  There are days that are harder then others.  When you see a Mom with a child with a disability in the waiting room talk to her.  Talk to her child….it is ok!  We are people, our children are people and we all love a good conversation!

Special needs 101: Talk to parents with special needs

Listen, listen to us and listen to our children.  There are no right or wrong answers, sometimes we need a hug.  Give a shoulder to lean on.

Special needs 101: make eye contact with parents of special needs children

Invite…. invite our children to a play date or a party.  Include our children. You would be amazed at what they will bring with them.

Special needs 101: Invite special needs children to the party, do not leave them out

Please do not tell us about a sighting you have had.  A sighting of another child or adult with the same disability. Again annoying and another reminder that our children stand out.  It is one thing to know someone and share that with us, but to tell us about the time you were at Walmart in the dairy section and an adult with down syndrome walked by and grabbed a carton of milk…not interested.

Special needs 101: Accept everyone for who they are

I could go on and on but I think you probably get it.  It is all about acceptance, I know we preach it but we breath it every single day!  There is nothing more in the world we want then for our children to be accepted.  We want to know that when they walk out the door and have a problem that there will be someone there to help them not stare at them.  This all comes from education!  We need to educate people who are not familiar with others that might not fit in a perfectly defined box.  We need people to know these individuals make life interesting and have a ton to offer to all of us.

My friend is starting a foundation…well it is already started, something I am proud to be a part of!  I Am Who I AM  founded by Holly Simon will be doing just that, educating!  Educating others on the value of those who are different and celebrating those differences.  We are in the year 2012….no one should left behind, everyone should have a purpose and a journey to share with others.

If you are local, come celebrate!

Kick off Party….. O”ROURKES OFFICE~ Bar, 11064 S. Western ave. April 14th, 2012 6:00

Step out of the box, out of your comfort zone, let your hair down!  You will be amazingly surprised how much happiness it will bring you!

Special needs 101: step out of the box and spread the happiness

ALMOST FORGOT!  You have the opportunity to win a tie!  2 Random comments will win!  Please make sure you not only comment but you also follow the blog!  Tell me what this blog does for you!  Anything you would like to see more of?  I look forward to hearing from you!  Winners at the end of the week!