Big Sister Mia Describes What a Learning Disability Is for #LDWeek15

My name is Mia, I’m 11 years old and I have a younger sister called Natty who is 8. Natty and I both love netball and horse riding and singing and baking cakes and watching films. We both have Blue Peter badges. 

Mia from Downs Side Up writes about Learning Disability for #LDWeek15

Natty also has Down’s syndrome, which means she has an extra chromosome in every building brick of her body. I think they look like wonkey Twiglets.

#StC15 and #Britmums Live Here We come!

This is one of those I-really-don't-have-time-to-write-a -post posts, but I feel I need to write a quick update whilst I'm chucking things into a case, packing books into a box, painting nails and honing speeches...

I'm off to Derby tomorrow to the Strengthening the Commitment Conference #StC15, attended by learning disability nurses and lecturers. It's a wonderful opportunity to work together to best support those with a learning disability and their families. I always come home brimming with ideas and enthusiasm from these events and I have been honoured to be one of the speakers. I'll be talking about how the language of the medical professionals has a powerful impact on those they work with: Your Words Count.

You can watch the events and speakers here

From there it's down to London to the annual Britmums Live. It's a wonderful whirlwind of a couple of days. Top bloggers, newbies, journalists and publishers share knowledge and expertise from the nuts and bolts of the technical side to the legal aspects and the ethical ones too. 

I'll be joining others to talk about Support Through Blogging and Digital Activism as well as reading the open letter Dear Richard Dawkins, You Are Wrong at the keynotes. I'm also incredibly astonished that Downs Side Up has been listed in the finals of the Inspire Category in the Brilliance in Blogging Awards for the fourth year running.

So to say I'm a little nervous is an understatement. It will be three exhausting days, but you can change the world a lot in three short days. 

So wish me luck. I can't wait to get home to Cornwall again to celebrate father's day with the children on Sunday. Will keep you posted.

Must dash...


National Portage Association Back New Resource

Fink Card Review by Kerry Bailey of the National Portage Association 

Talking About Down’s Syndrome: Conversations for New Parents by Hayley Goleniowska and Fink Cards

Talking About Down's Syndrome: Conversations for New Parents

I was honoured and delighted to be asked to review the new fink conversation cards Talking About Down’s Syndrome, Conversations with Parents written by Hayley Goleniowska.

"Q: How did you celebrate your baby's arrival?"

National News Interviews on Testing and Down's Syndrome

Relaxing with our Girls

"Right girls, lets make some popcorn and go and sit on the sofa and cuddle up." 
It was time to watch Pets with the Xtra Factor Strictly Do the Most Talented Things Whilst Coming to Dine with Me or whatever it is that's on on a Saturday evening these days. Daddy Downs Side Up was away, and we had a girlie evening planned.

We'd been in our pyjamas for the last hour and had just taken our lovingly made meringue for the Big Lunch out of the oven ready for the next day. I was washing the last of the dishes and had poured a glass of something cold, crisp and white in readiness for full relax mode.

An ordinary Saturday turned into a media day in minutes

The phone rang. Thinking it was Daddy, Mia answered it with an excited "Hiya!" Silence while someone spoke on the other end of the line. 

Did you tuck in at the Big Lunch?

The Big lunch 2015

Mia and Natty loved creating a pavlova for the Big Lunch 2015

The Big Lunch is a very simple idea from the Eden Project. The aim is to get as many people as possible across the whole of the UK to have lunch with their neighbours annually on the first Sunday in June in a simple act of community, friendship and fun. Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all types of communities. In 2014, 4.83 million people took to their streets, gardens and community spaces for the sixth annual Big Lunch.

Book Reviews: Milky Moments and Who's Not in School?

I am so very proud of a cluster of writing friends who have all published incredible books this year. 

Having ventured down this path ourselves, I will never underestimate again just how much goes into producing a book. It's exciting, exhausting, expensive, stressful and what I didn't anticipate is just how very vulnerable you feel when the work is launched. You doubt every detail, you nervously wait for a response and I think anyone who dares push themselves that hard for something they believe in deserves our support and praise.

The Doctors' Waiting Room: The contribution our daughter makes

Today we spent a good 40 minutes in the waiting room of our local Doctors' Surgery. Nothing unusual in that with our Natty. 

We're talking low-grade 'poorly'. Off-colour, off school, off her food. 

But after the out-of-the-blue 'nasty episode' that sent Mummy and Daddy 'off the scale' with worry, and her into hospital 2 weeks ago, we were covering all bases.

Dr Natty is here to help

I digress.

I sat, mentally noting the events that took place in the waiting room today. No more out of the ordinary than on any other of our gazillion visits, but perhaps because we were there a little longer, and perhaps because being a blogger changes the way you view the ordinary, I thought I'd write to you all about it...