Friday, August 12, 2011

Goings On

You know, I seem to dip in and out of this space a lot lately, but, truthfully, it's summer. And I don't want to look back and say that we didn't live it up when we had the chance, y'know?

So we've been doing just that. And so I'm behind on my emails and phone calls and posts. But that's what winter's for, right?

Know that I won't quit you though, k? I mean, even at the times that I start to think that this blogging this doesn't really mean anything to anyone but me, I get confirmation that what I write matters to someone. Even if it's just one, it's one. And that means a lot to me. So here I am.

There's been quite the activity in the Ds community lately.

First, and most importantly, there was the NDSC Conference in San Antonio, TX, last week. I can't say enough about it. Where else can you spend 4-5 days in a resort setting and hang with a bunch of people that just get it? And then you eat, dance, laugh, cry, learn, speak, and listen. It's pretty awesome.

This was our third time attending. We went to Sacramento and Orlando and it would take something massive to keep us away from DC next July. So get your bags ready and start setting aside your allowance, y'all. It's worth it.

We didn't take a camera, but thankfully others did. I'll either share some pictures here soon or provide a link to where you can see them. Playette was quite the poser so she made it into lots of shots.

Oh! While we were there, we had the chance to go to Morgan's Wonderland and I'm so, so glad that we did. A theme park that utilizes inclusive practices? Bonus.

I loved seeing our friends and friends that have become like family. The only thing that blew was that it didn't last longer. But it gave me hope and the strength to continue to fight the good fight.

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Good thing, huh, cause in the midst of all of that warm-fuzziness, there came word of the whole The Change-Up controversy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again...just because you can be a jerk doesn't mean that you should be.

If it's "just words" then why is it so hard to make the switch? It's a matter of respect. And if you can't respect my kid, I can't respect you.

That's the nicest, most concise way I can put it.

If your friends, family members, or co-workers still don't get it, fell free to forward them this.

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And then there's this story.

Um. Well.

You may be surprised at my reaction, but I don't think he should play.

To me, that's the definition of treating him special-special.

I'm not a fan of special-special.

One thing I learned from the conference session on inclusive practices is that we can't have it both ways. We can't want for our kids to be treated just like everyone else and then not want them to be treated just like everyone else when it doesn't feel good.

Inclusion, to me, means that everyone is together and supports are provided when necessary. In my mind, it's not that we get the best of all possible outcomes at all times.

I admit, my kid is four. I have a long way to go and my thought process is certainly skewed by my limited experience in the land of Special Needs Parentdom.

I also admit that I don't always take road less traveled. Some days are hard enough as it is and I welcome a break. Any break.

So when someone offers Playette a special pass for free admission to the zoo, I will probably accept on her behalf. See? I'm not perfect. Perhaps that even makes me a little hypocritical.

But I'm not going to be mad at the zoo if we go and they don't offer Playette a free ticket. Because no one else gets free tickets. Does that make sense to anyone but me?

Help is nice, sure. But it's not a given.

So I guess if they had decided that Brett couldn't suit up, but could still do some stuff with the team (which it sounds like may now be the case), then I guess I could be convinced to be ok with that. But I don't like our kids treated like mascots. And I don't think that they should be allowed to break rules courtesy of the extra chromo.

When I was a kid and used to say, "That's not fair!" one of my parents would always reply, "Life's not fair."

Maybe that's why I'm cold-hearted. Or a realist. Or whatever.

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But back to the happy-happy-joy-joy! Washington, DC. July 20-22. Come early or stay late. Just be there.

We'd love to see you.

6 comments:

Becca said...

I was thinking about the high school football situation today, too, and I totally agree with you. Didn't want to go out there and say it on my own, but since you've just said it, I'm happy to jump on that band wagon. :-) Rules is rules, y'know? And while I'm happy to take advantage of stuff, I, too, will not be sad if someone sticks to the rules and doesn't offer up the cushy stuff.

See you in DC!

LLPirate said...

See I swing the other way and it's not the extra in my mind it's the fact that he's still in school and they are basing the decision on age not ds. Maybe I'm missing something but that's my take. I do get how the whole town is making him out to be a mascot which does bug me. I'd really hate to be the deciding body on this topic.

Michelle said...

I think the age rule should be changed, not for him specifically, but in general. If a student is still in school then they should be allowed to play ... so it's the age rule that needs to be changed, not an allowance for him specifically. And the system is set-up for our kids to be in school until they are 21.

I agree with Becca's thoughts - I'm happy to take something that is being offered (ie the special needs pass at amusement parks) but wouldn't be upset over rules being followed either.

The whole Change-Up controversy is interesting to me. Remember the conversation we had in the car about 'downsy?' And that term is in the quote from the movie, yet when I saw it being used by a mother w/a son w/Ds on FB, no one said anything to her about it. (Including me, I admit, but I felt like I didn't know her well enough to say anything.)

Anyway, it was so nice to hang with you guys at MW ... speaking of which -did you ever get an email w/your pic from the jeep ride? I didn't :( Looking forward to DC!

Not a Perfect Mom said...

don't quit! I'm here, and I'm super important to you, right? right?
and the football thing...ugh, I hate getting into stuff like this, you know...I don't know the right answer, but I totally get what you're saying

Me ;-) said...

Thanks for hanging in there! You are appreciated. You know I've never been to a NDSC Conference. I've been reading so many positive reports about this year's conference. Now I'm intrigued. If I stop being such a procrastinator and start getting my ducks in a row, I might make next year's conference. . .

-Dee

Alison said...

Thoughts:

1. So glad you had fun at the convention! The Biffle-Piepmeiers are definitely there next year. It's on the calendar.

2. I like your take on the football thing. I know we need flexibility, and we need to reconsider when rules are helpful or when they're just "what we've always done," but I, too, am skeptical of the kid as mascot. When Maybelle's involved in sports, I want her to have the chance to play--really to play--and then to lose if that's what happens! Then she'll be just like her mom, who always always always lost at sports. :)