Model Natty Strikes a Pose: Frugi Hannah Reversible Dress

You know that thing when you're a top fashion model, working toward inclusive advertising so that all your peers can see themselves represented in the media. Yes, that. 

It's hard work isn't it! All smiles and poses and fun, I can't just switch that on at the drop of a bright cotton sun hat you know.

It's even worse when your Mum is really busy and forgets that she is supposed to have taken a photo of you in a gorgeous new dress that one of the companies you represent has sent you. She'd promised them a review by all accounts and this snazzy Frugi frock has been on her pile of things to do for days apparently. News to me of course *eyes roll to the sky*.

So what does she do on review post deadline day? She puts you in it and makes you pose for the camera. Just like that, no warning. Right after your breakfast and just before brushing your teeth. Most inconvenient I say! She really should organise herself better...

Striking a pose in Frugi reversible dress

To make matters worse she had the nerve to make me take it off straight away and put on my boring school uniform. I wanted to wear the pony pocket dress to show my friends.

I mean, I ask you! I wanted to keep it on all day! She really should stop horsing around (get it?).

Natty G x
(Words imagined by Mummy G)

p.s. There's also a blue one with an owl. Twit Twoo!

This gorgeous Hannah Reversible Dress is made from soft organic cotton, with popper fastenings at the back of the neck for easy dressing. One side of the dress has a sweet Frugi character applique and the reverse has a cute embroidered pocket, two dresses rolled into one! It retails at £32.

Frugi Hannah reversible dress also available in 'Owl'

Head over to fellow #FrugiFamily member Globalmouse Travels for their review of the Lulu Jumper Dress.

Tips and Contacts for School Pupils with Down's Syndrome/SEN

It's that time of year when many of you are preparing your children for a new term at school.

Tips for school pupils with Down's syndrome

I think back to the time Natty came to the end of her pre-school years and remember the stress and worry, the form filling and meetings, all mixed together with pride that she was making this huge step for the first time. I remember a lot of tears and late nights and the invaluable support of many professionals.

Whether your child is starting at mainstream or special school, you will want to get through this process as smoothly as possible to ensure the right package of support for your child.
So here are a few tips and ideas that worked for us, as well as some invaluable support groups that you can consult for advice tailored to your child's needs, whatever their stage of schooling.

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...