Monday, March 21, 2016

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!

Here is a little video I made to help celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 3-21.  A huge thank you to my friends in the Nebraska Down syndrome community, and the on-line Down syndrome community who shared photos of your precious kiddos so that I could make this video.  Feel free to share it to spread positive Down syndrome awareness.




At school we are celebrating with blue and yellow cupcakes that have festive Birthday balloons and sprinkles since Ben celebrated his 8th Birthday yesterday.  He was super excited to go to the pot luck for the High School Boys Basketball team to celebrate their C2 State Runner Up Basketball season.

In addition to cupcakes, each kid will get a coupon for a free Subway cookie attached to a Random Acts of Kindness cards

Everyone have an awesome World Down Syndrome Day!



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Congratulations EM Knights Basketball

Congratulations to the EM Knights for earning a spot in the Nebraska C2 Championship game, by beating Winnebago.  The game on Friday night was one for the record books.  We enjoyed watching and cheering for the team.  This article says it all.  WAY TO GO BOYS!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bible Fun

What do you do when you love Signing Time, and your church service reminds you of the Bible Fun Signing Video?  Well, you stand up, pretend you are Rachel Coleman and start teaching the whole Church ASL from the back.  As you will be able to hear, the pastor's sermon did not slow him down a bit.  We finally had to take him out that day, but not until I captured a couple of video clips. Ben sure does keep life interesting!  #Signingtimeinstructorskid

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Spread the Word to END the Word Day

Today is Spread the Word to END the Word Day.  In 2008, Special Olympics launched the www.r-word.org website to combat the inappropriate use of the R-word.  

Many people think it is OK to use the word retard or retarded if they are not referring to an individual with a disability.  I admit, that before Ben came along, I said it about myself on occasion, when ever I did something stupid. Since I did not have a personal connection with anyone who had a disability, I did not realize how hurtful this word was.  

But the word does hurt.  It hurts a lot!  When you say the word in a derogatory way, it puts down people with disabilities, whether you are referring to them or not.   It says you don't want to be like them.  It makes them less.

Most people, when confronted (or educated), apologize right away and really try not say the word again.  But believe me, speaking up in person, is not an easy task.  There are times I have let it go because I did not think it would be worth the fight, and times that I turned on my Mama bear and took the lesson way to far.  It is much easier to sit behind my computer and type this than it is to confront someone face to face.  But I am committed to being an advocate for Ben, and because of that, I have to speak up.  


But there are some who when confronted, start talking about the right to free speech, about how every group wants certain words banned, and how we should not be so sensitive.   Do you have a right to say that word?  Sure.  You have every right to be a jerk and put down other people. People with disabilities are an easy target because they are less likely to defend themselves.  But individuals with disabilities have feelings, and are hurt by word as much if not more than everyone else. Families have feelings

If you are still confused.  Here is handy flow chart.  


There is an easy solution.  Don't be a jerk.  Don't say things that put others down.  Make them feel like more, not less. Be someone who helps people up. Be respectful.  Advocate for those with special needs when you hear someone say the word and ask them to stop.  Take the pledge http://www.r-word.org/  


Finally, if you still need convincing, this sheet from KC Down Syndrome Guild sums it up nicely. Click to make larger.
 http://www.kcdsg.org/files/content/r%20word%20flyer.pdf


Monday, February 15, 2016

World Down Syndrome Day Awareness Walk

Our new group, Down Syndrome Advocates in Action Nebraska is hosting a mall walk for to raise awareness for the upcoming World Down Syndrome Day. #wdsd16
Ben's Brigade will be there and invites you to join us on March 19, 2016 at Gateway Mall in Lincoln NE between 9:30 and noon and walk laps in the mall.  In order to qualify for the raffle you need to wear a shirt or button that promotes Down syndrome awareness.  Register for the event here.

You can wear a shirt or button you already have or wear a new World Down Syndrome day long or short sleeved shirt or button.  The deadline for pre-orders has passed, but a few extra short sleeve shirts of each size were ordered.  Email bensbrigadene@gmail.com to see if your size shirt is still in stock.   Buttons can be ordered until March 12, 2016 .  Proceeds from the sale of these items go to DSAA Nebraska.
$14
$17

We also have a few Ben'x Brigade shirts available too.  These short sleeve shirts are $10 each.  Contact me to see if I have any left in your size.

$10

We hope you can join us, but even if you can't, we hope you can celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, 2016 where ever you are. #WDSD2016 
.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Basketball Fun

This weekend big Brother's team played in their conference championship.  It was a very close high energy game, but the Knights pulled out the win.  Before the game Ben again had fun warming up with the team.  


Thank you to the Dreamer and Hawks families who made the big photo cut out heads of the varsity players from the photos I took for the Booster Club fundraiser .  Ben was so excited to get to hold John's head and cheer for him.  (Only in the pre-game since he does not have enough self control to not smack someone with it during the game)  Sorry for the blurry photos, but he was on the court and I was in the top row with just my phone.  




Ben loves to cheer on his Knights.  He loves it when the band plays and when the cheerleaders lead a crowd cheer during time-outs.  He always encourages those around him to stand up and cheer along.  The Knights are now 19-2 on the year with 2 regular season games left.  Looking forward to the last few games of the season to see how the team goes.