BBC Three Bust Myths with New Films: Down's Syndrome

BBC Three have been working on a fantastic series of films which bust myths. The first of these that caught my attention was a hilarious yet informative short, featuring my beautiful friend Victoria Wright. 


Watch What Not to Say to a Person with a Facial Disfigurement here.  

Apparently Bio Oil won't help, in case you were wondering...



BBC Three create new myth-busting film about Down's syndrome

Why Take the Chance: Letting your Child take Risks


Sharon Paley happened to read an article I wrote for Learning Disability Practice back in the Spring of this year. We became friends on Twitter, she liked the positivity of Downs Side Up and I greatly admired her work in the intellectual disability field. She introduced me to her former employers BILD (British Institute of Learning Disability) and we've since done some work together.

Sharon and her husband recently wrote this article for Voice, an Australian Magazine for parents of children with Down Syndrome. It deals with the subject of letting go, letting your child with a learning disability make choices, take risks.

This subject resonated deeply with me. I've always been a protective Mum since Mia was born, but when Natty came along with her health issues and vulnerabilities I became more so. My sensible, former teacher's head knows I have to let them try new experiences, often beyond their immediate capabilities and I do this. But often it is my husband shouting 'let go' while every fibre of my human instinct screams no.The following is Sharon and Mark's article from Voice, reprinted with permission. The original photos have been left out and I have substituted moments of 'carefully assessed risk taking' in our journey of parenthood. Believe me, the photographer (me) was shaking, feeling sick with fear, and tear stained in each and every case.

It took 20 minutes to persuade Natty to get in the water with the dolphin but I knew it would be worth it in the end.
Natty's fearless leaping into the sea frightened me more, but just look at her face!



Why take the chance?By Sharon Paley and Mark Wakefield

Hairdressing Tips for Kids with Special Needs

Does your child with special needs do all they can to avoid having their hair cut or brushed? Here are our top tips for hairdressing without the tears, as well as a chance for UK readers to win a magic Tangle Teezer and funky Popband.


Let your child choose hair brushes, braids and bobbles

Mia has always loved having her hair brushed, cut, twirled, plaited, twizzled and filled with as many hairslides and bobbles as she can muster. Her need for girliness has always outweighed my hairdressing skills by far. I still couldn't do a French Plait if my life depended on it!


Tears, Tantrums and Tiaras: Avoiding Hairdressing

Natty couldn't be more different. With her it's always been full on war to get a brush anywhere near her head. From washing to combing and cutting and every stage in between, we've been met with a full on tantrum or tears or running and hiding in a corner. 

Chatty Natty Goes Live on Facebook

Never a social media platform to sit still, Facebook has launched a new-fangled way of interacting with our communities, and it's one that will benefit us all and bust a few myths about Down's syndrome.


Join us each evening for Facebook Live streaming


I was happily bumbling along my newsfeed the other day and stumbled across two different friends broadcasting via Facebook Live. Honest Mum Vicki Psarias was telling us about her celeb cooking adventures with Jamie Oliver, and Sarah Jackson, the Fermented Foodie was bouncing on her trampoline and chatting to all who were watching about getting healthy.

Tooth Watch - Tops Tips for Teeth

I recall clearly the worry when Natty's very first tooth fell out. I'd heard somewhere about a need for prophylactic antibiotics lost teeth and heart conditions, so I took her to the dentist.  

Natty was relaxed about it all of course, and the dentist very kindly told us not to worry and sent us home, somehow managing not to make me feel too neurotic.






Tooth watch


Natty wasn't too concerned and when tooth number 2 fell out we didn't notice until toothbrushing time that evening. I suspect it was somewhere in the play park, nestled in the grass beneath the see saw. The Toothless Fairy visited regardless. 


So far so good I thought...

All in the Same Boat - Not Heading to Holland


This week saw the launch of my new regular column over on the Firefly Community, an amazing hub for parents and professionals who work with children with special needs and disabilities. 

Do stop by and join in the conversation, or check out their amazing mobility products

It's a community that is very varied, and it got me thinking about what it is to be a SEND parent, if indeed there is such a thing. 

All in the same boat - not heading to Holland 


We are all so different, as are our children, but yet we share common threads. And then I got to thinking about Welcome to Holland and what it means to me.

5 Tips for Encouraging Confident Walkers - A Moccis Giveaway!

We have a fabulous pair of original hand-sewn Swedish Moccis moccasins to give-away in this post!

But how do they relate to helping your child learn to walk? Well it's all about confidence, support and practice and here are my 5 tips.



Win a pair of Moccis slipper socks - ideal for encouraging confident walkers


5 Tips for Confident Walkers



1 - Don't compare your child to others. Some children with Down's syndrome walk at around one year and for others it can be three to four years. Having hyper mobility makes the task twice as tricky, so celebrate their achievements and give them plenty of encouragement.