Tips and Contacts for Starting School

It's that time of year when many of you are preparing your little ones to start back at school or for the first time.

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. 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.

Leckey Changes Children's Lives




These are words that trip too often from the tongues of enthusiastic journalist, bloggers, anyone with an uplifting tale to tell, but rarely are they so thoroughly deserved.

Inventor Debby meets an enthusiastic user of the Upsee 

Last week I had the enormous privilege to meet and witness a handful of true visionaries whose inventions are quite simply creating a miraculous life-change for disabled children and their families.

Make Positive Choices for Learning Disability Nurses: Together we are Better

The force for change that is the wonderful Helen Laverty recently hosted the 10th Positive Choices Conference for Learning Disability Nurses and professionals in Kingston #10PC14.

I was so very sorry that I could not attend to speak as invited, I was so very disappointed not to be able to meet the medical angels that support us all, and the incredible, inspirational speakers she had lined up, such as actress Sarah Gordy (who has DS), who has become an online friend. Infortunately illness and storm-damaged railway lines conspired to keep me in Cornwall, so in lieu of my speech, I made a little film for the delegates, a film outlining the role of learning disability nurses for our family, what they have done for us and what they mean as we move forward through Natalia's life.I wanted them to know how vital their job is. You can watch it here.


What Did World Down Syndrome Day Achieve?

On the 21st of March, 2014 we joined forces to celebrate the 9th World Down Syndrome Day together. The charities Down's Syndrome Association and Down Syndrome International decided that the theme of the day was health, and as a way of getting everyone involved we wore our funkiest socks... 

'For we are all colourful and unique.'
(That's a phrase I coined as a stock response when people ask what the sock theme is all about.)

But I was conscious of mutterings in the wings:

Warrior Mums by Michelle Daly

I am very proud to feature alongside many inspirational disability advocates and campaigners in new book Warrior Mums.

A few months ago I met a truly inspirational lady, Michelle Daly via Twitter. In  nutshell, Michelle was the youngest person ever to become the legal guardian of someone with a disability in this country back in the 70s, and she has written an incredible story about her journey with Marie in her must-own book With a Little Help From My Friends.

A Thought for the Many Types of Mummy on Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a bit like Christmas Day in that each family has their own special way of celebrating it.
There are your particular traditions and histories, memories and emotions behind them all.

I have been a Mummy for just over 10 years now and, along with our girls' birthdays it is always a time to reflect on our journey of parenthood. The happiness, the love, the worry, the hamster wheel of exhaustion, the lessons learned, the giggles and tickles, the battles of will, the grey hairs gained, the way Motherhood changes you immeasurably for the better...

Guest Post - Holland and Italy: A Mother's Journey

Thank you to the beautiful Beth for sharing her thoughts on being welcomed to Holland, but then deciding to visit Italy after all. It is a wonderful story of the journey so many of we parents of a child with Down's syndrome go through.

Beth and her beautiful daughter in Italy

Welcome to Italy

We are a family of wanderers. Butlins or Berlin, we're really not that fussed. Scattered up and down the country, and with a stepmother in the Czech Republic and a Mother-in-law in Switzerland, we do our fair share of arguing over whether or not to go for the M6 toll road and trying to sneak extra hand baggage onto budget airlines. 

Guest Post - Luke Learns to Walk

Lovely Little Luke

Henrietta shares her thoughts as a loving Mum on encouraging her son Luke to meet his milestones, and celebrates his new walking skills. 

We all want the best for our children and sometimes it's difficult not to worry, but they all get wherever they are going in their own time. We look forward to following Luke's amazing progress. 

Down Syndrome Infographic for #WDSD14

I am very proud to be working with disability products company Leckey, who very kindly offered to create this wonderful infographic for World Down Syndrome Day #WDSD14. So if you have every wanted to separate the facts from the fiction surrounding Down's syndrome, this is for you.