I have sold ice cream biked miles, and walked for Down Syndrome – now you can support me revisit puberty with polar plunge and a bunch of people.
It is important we celebrate and support our awesome Special Olympians. They excel and impress globally, with their enthusiasm and sportsmanship.
My son is a Special Olympian!
He was born with Down Syndrome and has been an absolute blessing to our family. He’s cheerful, loving, and works hard to achieve his goals. I’m a proud father for this amazing young man!
This year I pledge my support to Special Olympics New Jersey by making a donation through my page.
You have the awesome opportunity to also support me, and I will in turn share pictures of a pale, freckled, ginger bearded viking plunging into the ocean. It will certainly be an experience for spectators as my roar will echo along the Jersey Shore. And no, it is not a blue whale mating call!
The process is fast, easy and secure. Thanks so much for your support… and please don’t forget to send this page to any friends you think might be interested in donating!
Our oldest daughter had her 1st communion a couple of years ago, and it was a fantastic joyful day with laughs, friends and plenty of food. She was dressed like a princess looking amazing and I was standing on the porch with a shotgun fending off all the potential boyfriends – A dad has to take the necessary precautions!
Being the proud father of three, it was just a matter of time until the next in line had to go through the 1st communion as well. Behold, my little man was getting ready and preparations started 18 months ago for his big day.
Beside the mandatory church teachings where kids learn about Big J, Heffe, prayers and important scriptures, they also need to be comfortable with wine and unleavened wafers (or tacos as I call them).
This is where we the parents come in. Every Friday for several weeks before the big day, we practiced getting wafer and wine, ensuring he would a) spit it out or b)make funny faces and then spit it out.
After the first attempt at the VERY small taste of wine (5-10ml), it was clear that he enjoyed the taste of wine. So, no need to practice that step any further and we replaced the wine with Fanta.
However, the wafers are not exactly a delicacy among food critiques and are not my son’s favorite food source. To encourage some involvement by my son with this process, I initially swapped the wafers with Doritos, and that seemed to do the trick. Unfortunately he was utterly disappointed as I re-introduced these dried up wafers, which caused a few gagging moments and wafers were hitting the ceiling, windows and floor 🙂
The big day finally arrived!
Sunday was his moment to shine. He knew something was up that morning, probably because I was ironing his pink shirt and hanging up his new awesome suit. He would be dressed like a true Kingsman. And, the fact that I was wearing a suit too was probably a give-away + rest of the family was wearing fancy dresses.
Deep inside, I was fearing that he would walk off in the middle of the ceremony, when standing in front of the parish, or simply spit out the wafer as he did so many times at home.
I kept reminding him it was Taco Sunday, so just be cool and do the stuff he learned.
Beside the fact he refused to join the line of kids before entering the church, it was a flawless performance. He bowed as he walked in. He held his hands up for prayers. He sang along (mimed more accurately) and did superb when getting wafer + wine. All-in-all an outstanding achievement.
The most magical part of the day was when he discovered that his aid had come to witness his big. They hadn’t seen each other since my son moved school, but they have developed a very tight relationship. My son’s eye lit up like Christmas lights, and he ran to give him a big hug. It was true love and admiration for his best friend.
My wife started to tear up and people walked up to them to comment on how much their bond was shinning out. Smiles on both their faces and big hugs proved that they are brothers.
I’m so proud of my son. He did an amazing job in church, and we had a great day with close friends … and plenty of food as always.
The realization of our move to another ZIP code has come to fruition, as the kids had their last day of school (now old school) and had to mentally prepare to meet a bunch of new kids Monday morning.
We had tried to negotiate with the school about keeping the kids at the school until end of the school year, for the simple reasons of stability. And, the fact that we were driving them to/from school every day. Our son has Down Syndrome and for us this move could potentially regress his development, and surely it would in the child’s best interest to stay in the known environment.
Yes, we know we moved to another ZIP code and that this normally involves moving kids to a new school unless you are willing to pay for tuition. But, we wanted to do what was right for the kids.
Anyway, this post is not about the educational battle, but the fact that we all cried!
My wife had organized enough snacks to feed a small village and had scheduled a farewell party with the teachers. There were hugs, presents, dancing, more hugs, friends departing each other, contact details being shared – it was a realization that we were part of the community after all.
Parents were hugging us too, and even the teachers were getting emotional. After all, we have some great kids and have been with the school for over 3.5 years. Kids had participated in school sports, activities and birthday parties. It has been an awesome experience to be part of that community.
As we were getting ready to pack the car, our son’s aid (Mr. T) walked our son to car. It was clear that he was affected by this departure. They had developed a bond beyond aid/student, and become close as brothers. He had bought him some awesome shoes. Some days they had dressed alike and they had so much fun together. He alone has been the reason we wanted to stay at the school, and he can take full credit for the amazing development of our son. Of course the other teachers did an awesome job too, but this relationship was special.
The aid wants to be part of Christian’s life going forward. It was just not something he said. We could tell he meant it. I even heard him say to my son “I’ll be here for you forever. You have taught me more about life than anyone”.
Dude! that made me bloody emotional, which is awkward when I want to have a tough appearance with my ginger full beard and cool shades. A tear rolled down my cheeks, but I caught before anyone noticed.
Now a chapter has been closed, but we start writing a new book. It’ll be awesome to meet all the new people and make new friends (again!). The kids will have an amazing experience and it will be a positive opportunity for our son.
It is our responsibility as parents to stay in touch with the friends we made, and encourage our kids to feed those relationships too. They made friends for life.
Every year the World celebrates Down Syndrome, generating awareness for the wonderful group of individuals that we are blessed sharing the World with.
To this day, people with Down Syndrome have special powers – powers to spread love and happiness to everyone who they get in touch with. They smile, cherish life and adore anybody who wants to be their friend.
Some people still mock them and call them names, but it’s just out of ignorance.
My beautiful wife helps spread awareness about people with special needs, so you should really visit her Facebook page. It’s also a tribute to my amazing son, Christian, who was born with an extra chromosome.
Yes, I need to say no a few extra times when he’s misbehaving, but so did my dad to me. He has come such a long way in a short time, especially since arriving in the US where he gets an awesome service and support in the school. His aid (Mr. T) is absolutely amazing with my son, and they have bonded like brothers. This has resulted in a phenomenal improvement in his abilities to interact and communicate.
What’s even more magical, as a parent to a special needs kid, is that he has friends in school. Kids walk up to him and give him high five, shout hi when they see him and he has play dates with class mates. It’s wonderful as a parent to see how well he’s accepted by his peers. They love him too.
Here’s a set of excellent images my wife created to honour our son 🙂
I have been rather rattled by the recent debates and discussions, and at times accusations, when it comes to giving vaccines to our kids. Giving them to my kids whom I love and cherish.
Some scientists claim that we need to vaccinate our kids from an early age, and we blindly listen to them without questioning what poison they inject into these fragile bodies.
Political groups accuses parents of putting our existence into question and also claim that none of these multi- vaccines have caused long-term impacts. Why is there an increase in mental illnesses like autism?
I’m not an advocate for autism, but do question why we’ve seen such an increase in last few years. And I do not believe it’s to do better screening. Here’s a little video for the conspiracy theorists 🙂
Poison is perhaps the wrong term, but nevertheless, we inject toxics into their bodies hoping they will be protected against common and now more uncommon infections. It’s the beginning of World War Z!
I have long proclaimed that vaccinating kids unnecessarily will only cause four things;
Kids get an overload of viruses injected which could have long-term impact on their bodies and mental states. We do not have the long-term evidence to show that it is not dangerous.
Multi-function vaccines contain chemicals, viruses and liquids is a toxic cocktail. The combinations have side effects.
Viruses will mutate and grow stronger, leaving humanity with less chance of winning
It’s all just a conspiracy and we are all doomed 🙂
It’s important to understand that I fully support getting my kids vaccinated, but I also want to know what’s being injected into my kids, and have the right to object or request single (individual) shots instead of multi-vaccines.
When I grew up I had perhaps a handful of vaccines measles, rubella, mumps, polio and smallpox … and perhaps one or two mode. But that was it, and I survived my childhood just fine. And so did all the Western World parents who are giving out about other parents objecting to multi vaccines.
We have to stop, assess our objectives and then determine the best vaccines for our kids.
Look at the impact of the flu vaccine. The flu virus have gotten much stronger in the past few years, mutating and leaving the vaccine useless. Perhaps not useless, as some people will benefit from a vaccine if they have a weak immune system.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the vaccines our kids get these days, at a very young age.
Cervical Cancer; spread through sexual contact … but their genitals are not even evolved at this stage
Hepatitis; share needles, unprotected sex, multiple sex partners, alcoholic, which again is unlikely at this young age
of course if you travel to or live in areas with poor sanitation, then yes
Pneumococcal; the PPSV vaccine cannot be used for the part of the population that is most vulnerable to the disease, i.e. kids, so they just made another version (or just other name) called PCV
Pertussis; aka Whooping Cough – granted, we do not want our kids to get this infection, but perhaps we could give them the cure when/if they do contract Whooping Cough?
Flu; let’s be honest, it’s a pain to get the flu, and if you have a really weak immune system it can be very serious, but there’s no need to force this vaccine upon kids
The rest of the long list of vaccines our kids get are ok I assume, but I do not support the use of multi-vaccines. We simply do not know the long-term side effects of these.
Why did we “invent” multi-vaccines? My take on it is that we (people in general) could not be bothered going to the doctor many times throughout the first years of our kids’ life, and demanded shorter visits and fewer shots. That means we are to blame for the viruses getting stronger, our bodies weaker and new chronic illnesses arises – and not to mention the rapid increase of autism in the past decade.
The conspiracist in me would claim that the medical and pharmaceutical industries control this very closely. They are on cahoots together. Insurance companies demand these vaccines and pharmaceuticals provides them at high cost. Perhaps even making the single shot vaccines so expensive it doesn’t make sense for parents.
We need to go back to basics. Only inject the critical vaccines into our kids, one-by-one, and then strengthen them as they grow. This includes more visits to the local doctor as kids get older and perhaps get more active with travelling and (God forbid as a parent) when they get sexual active.
When I read articles the news where people comment or proclaim that parents who ask questions about the vaccines are not idiots, then I get slightly annoyed. We are asking these questions for the safety of our children. The concerns raised is not necessarily about the vaccine itself, but the fact that the modern vaccines combines multiple vaccine shots into fewer shots – and several of these vaccines the kids don’t need at such an early stage in their lives.
My comment back to these parents are “do you not care for your kids and do you simply fill their bodies with any kind of junk? Then you might as well allow them to inject drugs!”
It’s time we stand together and determine what’s best for our kids as parents. We need to get vaccinated against the common diseases and prevent spread of viruses. The answer is not multi-vaccines, but single vaccines.