Tuesday, July 15, 2014
This past weekend we were blessed to be able to drive to Indianapolis to attend the 2014 National Down Syndrome Congress annual convention. While we were going to make it into a small family vacation, John threw a wrench into the plans by requesting to stay home to attend his district baseball tournament. So we lined up a friend to stay at the house with John, and loaded up the car.
8. We finally got to meet our Facebook friends Denise and Ella. We tried to meet up last year, and it did not work, and this year I was again afraid we would miss each other, but they stopped by just as we were packing up on the last day. It was to great to finally meet them in person.
When I say loaded, I mean loaded.
The shelf in between the seats turned out to be wonderful as it kept Ben and Noah from fighting the entire trip. Car makers seriously need to consider installing some type of safe boundary to keep kids from fighting in the car. We had to pack tightly, because I was hosting both an ABC Signing Kids and the DSAF of NE booth at the NDSC Exhibitor fair. Here are photos of the booths.
The Exhibitor fair was such a blast.
I loved meeting everyone who came around to check out all the displays.
Here are my top 10 NDSC conference highlights in no particular order.
10. There were a couple times Ben needed to be at my booth, and he did a good job of sticking around and not running away. (Although he did take me on a pretty fast tour of 3rd floor one day on the way to kids camp. ) The main reason Ben stayed put was he had Rachael from Signing Time there to keep him company. Loved watching him dance, sing and sign along with the iPad.
9. Learning that Noah got to feel special when the Brother and Sister field trip busses were given a police escort to the Indianapolis Speedway.
Ella is such a sweetheart.
7. One for the memory books occurred just after we got back to the room that first night after swimming. It is a terrible feeling to realize that your 6 year old just snuck out of our hotel room and is running in the hall way. It is an entirely different feeling to realize that he is also wearing nothing but a string backpack and a smile, and there is a large group of people getting off the elevator heading straight for him. Luckily the sight of strangers turned him around quickly and we were able to usher him back into the room quickly.
6 Not even 5 minutes later with Ben safely in the room (but still naked) and the door blocked by a cooler, did I realize we were still flirting with getting kicked out of the hotel when I noticed that Ben was standing naked in front of the large floor to ceiling windows waving at the folks walking down the street. Got to love a kid with absolutely no modesty.
5. Another highlight was meeting someone who actually follows this blog! I won't reveal your identity here, but you know who you are and I was very happy to meet you!. Thank you for stopping by to introduce yourself and I wish we had gotten more time to visit.
4. There were so many wonderful self advocates that I was able to meet and get to know a little bit. Curtis and Todd were two of my favorites. The NDSC convention is billed as the largest family reunion and they do a really great job of making everyone feel like they are indeed part of one big family who is tied together by an extra chromosome.
3. Ben meeting a little boy named Aaron at my booth and having a wonderfully tender moment. They kept giving each other hugs and when they broke apart Ben signed friend and Aaron signed it back. Love how sign language has opened up the world of communication for so many of our kiddos.
2. It was wonderful getting to meet, work the booth, and present with fellow Signing Time Instructor, Cindy Johnson. She is a fabulous speaker and made my first (and hopefully not last) national presentation very easy. Unfortunately, we were so busy most of the time, I did not think to get a photo of us together. That will just mean that we need to find another excuse to get together again in the future so we can get a photo.
While there were many awesome moments at the conference,
the one that stands out to me the most is this:
1. The award acceptance speech given by Patti Saylors at the banquet, where she talked about all her efforts to make sure that what happened to her son Ethan never happens to another one of our loved ones with disabilities. She is working to make sure that first responders across the country are all properly trained on how to deal with individuals with disabilities. If you are unfamiliar with Ethan's story, he was killed when some off duty policemen improperly restrained him when he refused to leave a movie theater She is an amazingly strong woman and I can assure you there was hardly a dry eye in the banquet hall. #justiceforethan
Next year's convention is going to be in Phoenix. Not sure yet if we will be able to make it since we won't be able to drive, but I have to say I would love to get together with my new extended family again really soon!
Tuesday, July 8, 2014
In honor of our trip to the National Down Syndrome Congress National Convention, ABC Signing Kids and ABC Barefoot Kids are hosting a giveaway! For those going to the conference, you can sign up in person at the ABC Signing Kids both, and get even more entries by signing up here. For those who are not able to make the trip to Indianapolis, you are still welcome to sign up to try to win. Here is what one lucky winner will receive...
a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, June 30, 2014
The Signing Time Best Sale of the Year has been extended to July 1, 2014. It includes DVD's, books, CD's and flashcards, and also our entire Digital line of products. The same code 2day40 will save you 40% off site wide of either the digital site or the regular shopping site. Personally, now that I have both Regular product and virtual product, I have to say I love the digital DVD's, books, and music. I never have to worry about lost or scratched disc's any more and Ben can get into the app and access whatever he wants to watch on his own. Check it out for yourself and see which you prefer.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Don't miss out on the Best Signing Time Sale of the Year. The discount is good off EVERYTHING that even includes digital. But hurry, the sale will only last 2 days!
I can not begin to say how much the Signing Time program has meant to our family. It helps us daily to communicate with our 6 year old son, with Down syndrome. It help teach him to sight read when he was only two. And it is something that every family can use to quickly learn ASL signs that can have a huge impact on your children.
Teaching sign language to babies, toddlers and school age children can help build vocabulary, reduce frustration, increase IQ, promote whole body learning and boost working memory. WIth all these benefits, why wouldn't you want to teach your child to sign? With 40% off there is no better time to check out Signing Time for yourself.
Friday, June 27, 2014
YIKES! I seriously thought I had 3 weeks left until the NDSC 2014 Convention, but as of today there are less than 2 weeks left to go. How did time go so fast? I realized it was getting close when I downloaded the super cool NDSC Convention app today and it told me there were 14 days until the event started. Wow this app is really slick. Already I know that ABC Signing Kids will be at booth 38 and the DSAF of NE will be right next door at booth 39 in Griffin Hall and there is even a handy map to tell me where to find those spots. Here is a list of all the Exhibitors
So if you are going to Indy and you have a smart phone, I highly recommend you download this app. Then look me up and say Hi at the Signing Time booth, or at the Signing Time Workshop "Jumpstart Your Child's Speech and Language Engine Using Sign Language in room 313 on Sunday July 13th from 10:30 to 12. It is going to be a great trip!
See You in Indy!
Monday, June 23, 2014
Ben enjoyed playing t-ball with his class again this year. He loved hitting the ball and running the bases and he tolerated standing in the field waiting for a ball to come. Here are some photos from a game where he chose not to follow the rules and hopefully learned an important lesson.
Hitting the ball is lots of fun.
So is running the bases.
Playing in the dirt can be lots of fun too!
So can pretending to catch the ball with your hat and pretending to sweep your arm down to tag a runner out. (even when you are playing short stop and no where near a base).
When Mom and Dan notice when you are messing around with your hat and not paying attention to the game, Mom and Dad take will take away your hat and make your really sad.
Coaches can help feel better about losing your hat (and protect you from balls being hit your direction.
Brothers can help you feel better too.
And sometimes it takes brothers and friends to cheer you up.
But in the end, playing t-ball with your friends and getting to run on the field makes you forget all about your mean parents who took your hat.