Special & Determined | A Special Needs Mom Blog

Loving life and all it's special challenges, giving a window into the beautiful world of Down syndrome

Special & Determined | A Special Needs Mom Blog - Loving life and all it's special challenges, giving a window into the beautiful world of Down syndrome

Down Syndrome Awareness Month Campaign #specialanddetermined

specialanddetermined DS horizontalFB Down Syndrome Awareness Month Campaign #specialanddetermined

Here is our Down Syndrome Awareness campaign – “Is Your Child Special & Determined?”

All children are unique in their own individual way. As a mother of child with Down Syndrome I feel so blessed.

When my son was born with Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21) and a congenital heart defect, my husband and I agreed very quickly that we weren’t going to let our son’s disability get in the way of him experiencing life. We wanted him to enjoy the world just like any other child.  So we encouraged him to try new things. We wanted to allow him the opportunity to grow and learn.  We wanted him to find his potential.

So with this campaign “Is Your Child Special & Determined” we know the answer is “yes”, but we want you to share your child with us.  This is your opportunity to bring awareness to individuals with Down Syndrome and show how beautiful, how accomplished and determined they are.

Take a moment to fill out the form below, and please make sure to add only one picture of your child, and please only enter once.  Make sure to read the rules of the campaign.

At the end of the month a winner will be announced.

Enter Contest Below

  • CONTEST OFFICIALLY STARTS OCTOBER 6, 2014 AND ENDS OCTOBER 31, 2014. You have to be 18 years or older to participate. * Please submit one picture of an individual with a Down Syndrome and tell us why this individual is Special & Determined. * Each week my son will pick the "Honorable Mention of the Week", and their picture will be uploaded to my Facebook page. * At the end of the month (October 31st) I will ask the public to vote on the winner of this campaign. * The winner will then receive a gift basket worth $50.00
 

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We look forward to seeing all your special and determined children.

Summer Camp For A Child With Special Needs: Learning New Things, Meeting New Friends & Trying Something You Never Tried!

When April starts approaching, Moms around the country start getting nervous about how we are going to keep our kids entertained over the summer.  Different day trips, vacations and camps start entering our minds.

If you are fortunate to live in a town where they do Kid’s Expos you can gather up all the information of what is available for your child over the summer.  Everything from performing arts, music, educational, sports, to environmental, historical to faith-based camps are available (and that’s not even touching the surface of all that might be available).

However, if you are a mother of a child with special needs choices can be a lot more limited.  But don’t be afraid to ask.  A lot of camps may encourage inclusion for children with special needs to take part in their camp activities with their typical peers.

We were very fortunate to have found Springhill Camps.  A faith-based camp based in Michigan, that came to a local church for the week.  This was our first time attending, as the church is trying to grow their special needs ministry.

Wow what an amazing organization.  They were top-notch from the very beginning.  After I signed my son up and expressed the need for a one-on-one counselor, I received two phone calls.  First to let me know they will be sending me another form to get to know more about my son’s needs, so they can pair him up with the perfect one-on-one counselor, and the second call was from the counselor herself, Sarah.  She wanted to introduce herself, expressed her excitement about helping him and gave me some information about herself.

I was very excited about the first day.  As always, I felt a few butterflies in my belly not knowing how things will go, but excited for him to experience new things.

The welcome to the campers was great.  Very upbeat, smiles, music and high-fives – couldn’t ask for a better greeting.  Sarah immediately came running up, excited to meet her new friend.  After introductions, we went to his room with his fellow campers.  A few we knew from school and our neighbor.  Phone numbers were exchanged and off he went to experience summer camp the way camp should be experienced for a young boy.

 

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Hot Diggity Dog! I’m Going To The Disney Social Media Moms On The Road Celebration!

Like our favorite mouse would say “Hot Diggity Dog!” I’m Going To the Disney Social Media Moms On The Road Celebration in Chicago!

disney otr Hot Diggity Dog! Im Going To The Disney Social Media Moms On The Road Celebration!

I recently found out that I have been invited to attend the Disney Social Media Moms On The Road Celebration in Chicago June 17, 2014.  I am bouncing off the walls.  I cannot tell you how excited I am to be able to attend this event for the first time. Continue reading

Springbreak 2014 “Disney Style”

So I wrote a blog post “How To Do Disney For Both Business and Pleasure For Springbreak”, but I just want to share a few more pictures from our vacation.  We started off with SeaWorld (you can more here) and then moved on to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, Animal Kingdom and quick visit to Magic Kingdom to do some rides.

Here was our vacation:

universal studios Springbreak 2014 Disney Style

Kilamanjaro safari Springbreak 2014 Disney Style

Animal Kingdom Springbreak 2014 Disney Style

Here is a short video of our vacation.  We had a great time.

How To Do Disney For Both Business and Pleasure During Springbreak – Part 2

boardwalk in disney How To Do Disney For Both Business and Pleasure During Springbreak   Part 2

The alarm sounded and I was off!  Ready to hit the Type A Parent WDW Bootcamp, while my family headed off to Epcot.

I was fortunate because I was staying in The Boardwalk in Disney where the conference was taking place.  The Boardwalk is a very unique hotel, with all it’s old charm.  Great for families, with all of the buzz from entertainers to riding bikes that are available.  There is always something going on outside on the boardwalk.

The conference started off with a wonderful buffet style breakfast.  I was excited to be here.  One of the bloggers I had really hoped to have met was Julie Cole co-founder of Mabel’s Labels and special needs mom. Continue reading

A Day At The Indianapolis Zoo

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This past weekend we ventured to Indianapolis.  It worked out nicely for us.  I had a blogging conference there and Jacob and my husband spent Saturday at the Indianapolis Zoo.  It was a beautiful day, a great day to be outside, and a great day for me to spend time learning, collaborating and networking with some very inspirational and caring women at the Share. Support. Celebrate #SSCCon14 blogging conference.

Here is a quick video I created to show you what a great day they had at the zoo:

How To Do Disney For Both Business and Pleasure During Springbreak – Part 1

baloo How To Do Disney For Both Business and Pleasure During Springbreak   Part 1

This year we spent Springbreak in Orlando, FL.  There was a blogging conference, Type A Parent that I had heard such wonderful things about and almost every blogger I know goes to it, that I wanted to attend.  They had the Type A Parent Bootcamp which takes place prior to the big conference in Atlanta in September the same time as our Springbreak in Orlando, so it worked out perfectly.  We could enjoy Disney both for business and for a family vacation.  Plus we wanted to take a look at Marriott Vacation Club property to see if we wanted to become owners. Continue reading

A Superhero Birthday For Our “Superhero!”

My Superhero 300x300 A Superhero Birthday For Our Superhero!

It’s amazing that it will be 8 years since I gave birth to this amazing little guy.  It’s been a whirlwind of ups and downs, but he truly is our Superhero!

He shows us everyday how intelligent, funny and loving he really is.  He has filled our hearts with so much joy and love.  As I have said in the past he has such a magnetic personality, you see it with everyone he comes in contact with.
Continue reading

When We Allow Their Light To Shine, A Movement Is Created

First catalog spread 1024x493 When We Allow Their Light To Shine, A Movement Is Created

What does the quote “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” mean?

Answer from Ask.com: The phrase beauty is in the eye of the beholder typically means that someone can be beautiful based on the person that is seeing it. It means that each person sees beauty in a different fashion.

For me it means “equality, inclusion“.  For me it means everyone has the right to be equally included and represented in the advertising world. Continue reading