Learn a little..

As it draws to a close it feels just like any other day, because it is. Every day is world Down’s Syndrome day, Eloise day, asperger’s day, autism day, and…and…the world has room for us all. It just needs to learn a bit!

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The magic of Christmas?

​Eloise has an alarm clock. It’s never been set yet it went off at 3am and woke me up. Cue desperate rummaging round her room in the dark to find the thing before it wakes her up. I found it, she didn’t. Can I get back to sleep? Can I…

Next year…

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Girls v boys? A ballet tale

Both my daughters do ballet – one attends classes, the other will do soon but just now is happy putting on a tutu and pretending to be her big sister. It’s such a “girl” thing to do, isn’t it? There certainly aren’t any boys in #1 daughter’s class and I’m the only regular “ballet dad”. That’s a shame really.

I grew up in a female household – my parents divorced when I was a baby and my gran was a regular carer for me so I had little or no male input in my formative years. But I still grew up doing “boy” things – Star Wars, football etc 

I wouldn’t change that – it was fun but I really wish I’d had access to the ballet classes that #1 daughter goes to now. But why? What has ballet got to do with “boys”? Everything really.

First of all, ballet is two art forms for the price of one – she is learning about dance and music formally and informally. I try and point out relevant music and other media to her all the time. It’s culturally massive and she soaks it all up. We are lucky having a free broadcaster who supports music and dance in the children’s schedule so in among the ponies and heroes we have free access to proms and nutcrackers. There is also a huge amount of free resource available online.

Secondly, she’s learning to be disciplined in a group environment. This is important- she is just like me in that she is easily distracted. This was never picked up as an issue as a child and I never had the chance to hone these skills. The chance is there in ballet – her class are a good team who help each other out while having a strong leader. It’s a massive challenge for my daughter but she is improving every week.

Finally (although not really finally, I just don’t have the scope here to expand further!) she is learning the importance of repetitive practice. I always struggled to internalise the importance of this but it is key to everything. Boring repetitive training builds muscle and mental memory so that you can get things done instinctively and via reflex rather than having to think everything through all the time. It’s a vital skill to learn in any field but it’s so visibly THERE in ballet she is having to get to grips with it early.

Via ballet my daughter is developing physically, mentally and culturally – what parent wouldn’t want that for their child irrespective of gender. I really enjoy attending the classes as an observer – they all enjoy it, you can see their skills developing and I learn new things myself. Ballet is for everyone.

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Give a little bit

I often think we need to give a little more at Christmas. Not to the kids or to other family members but to those less fortunate than us.

Then I think about Kara.

90% of people would not have given her a life never mind a Christmas present. I don’t really need to feel that I don’t give enough to others. (Although I do…it’s not that that bothers me)

We have given Kara her world and that will never change. Kara and Eloise are everything to us.

Have a great Christmas everyone x

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Disillusioned 

​Kara is not acceptable as a citizen in any country but this one, and if she wasn’t British she wouldn’t get a visa here.

Meanwhile 100% termination rates for Down’s Syndrome pregnancies are seen as a target for some countries.

😦

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Free from  constraint…

​Made the decision which divides friends families experts. Leads to chaos mess and accidents. There is no turning back. KARA IS OUT OF NAPPIES

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Is this the 1930s?

I read a discussion about legislation for foreign workers being indicative of a move to the right and the obvious connotations of Nazi Germany

When we had a child with Down’s Syndrome one of the less obvious effects was that the Holocaust became part of our story too. From my perspective lebensraum is alive and well, it just happens in test tubes rather than camps and it’s only going to get worse.

We can’t emigrate anywhere either because nowhere will give us a visa, not without  ££. I’m not angry just determined to give Kara the best opportunity to thrive in a society where let’s be honest- she’s not entirely wanted.

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