Did you know? There is a “Down Syndrome World” magazine? There is! And check who is in it this month! Yep-Caleb made it in the People with Down Syndrome Rock! feature, along with @kennedyjean04 😊
If you haven’t checked this magazine out, you need to! Put out quarterly by the @globaldownsyndrome team, it has news about Research, Legislation, what’s happening at the Sie Center, and of course tons of photos from their Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show last fall. Including @itsmemsjamiebrewer @madelinesmodelling_ @amanda_booth and our friend @sarahmichaelasmiles ! And the adorable @bravewarriorvg on the cover 🌟🌟🌟 Make sure to visit the Global Down Syndrome website to subscribe so you don’t miss out 😊
Happy Thursday! We are ready for a long weekend here! 🙌🙌🙌 PS thanks for all the well wishes for our conference yesterday. It went well!
#peoplewithdownsyndromerock#iamable#igersjax#globaldownsyndrome#downsyndromeworld#calebscrew 💙💛 #kidsofinstagram#peoplewithdsrock
There’s something about having someone in your life with unique needs that pushes you. Out. Of. Your. Comfort. Zone.
Caleb has certainly done that to me - all the time! I’m actually pretty much an introverted extrovert (or the other way around - I never know which is which 😆) I love being around lots of people, and while it energizes me, it takes me some down time to recover. I don’t get that luxury of rest so much anymore. We run at full tilt from morning to night. Meeting new people, learning new information, trying new things.
Getting involved in the larger disability community has also challenged me. Learning from others and sharing what I can with those in our area. I work not for money anymore, but for a parent to tell me that they’ve learned something, tried something or helped someone else because of information I’ve told them about. I like to think of myself as a big “dot connector”, sharing resources and information with families. Because....we can all learn from each other and we can all teach someone something. Our experiences bring us together and hopefully help move us forward together.
So today’s a great day for me, as our conference planning committee kicks off the annual “Connecting the Dots” conference. State and local agencies coming together with families to network and exchange information with each other. It’s exciting and overwhelming and awesome all at the same time - I love it! But boy, will I sleep good tonight. 😆😴 Say a prayer that all goes well! 🙏🤞#ctd2018#fcc4#uniqueneeds#disability#igersjax#familycarecouncil#florida#calebscrew 💙💛 #wbw .
This beautiful young lady is Laura! I’m happy to help share her story today.
Ever since Caleb was little, I have been thinking about employment for him. I know, I know...”you have plenty of time, why worry about it now?” Flip through these photos until you get to the one about disability employment statistics. It’s amazingly disheartening. 18% - not even one out of every five people with special needs is employed. The needle moves back and forth a bit every now and then, but not far away from these stats. So...I love success stories, where individuals find their niche and run with it. That’s why I’m excited to share this Kickstarter program for @laurasgreetingsco
Laura is a woman with Down syndrome, who loves artwork. Her friends were inspired by her cute designs and have helped turn her passion “into a viable business (to) give others like her the chance to become designers, artists and illustrators.” ❤️❤️
Who doesn’t love to get a card in the mail these days, where emails and texts have become the norm? Swipe thru and see some adorable designs!
The Kickstarter will offer a couple different options. There are subscription packages (6, 12, 18 months), and then there is a flat fee option (packages of three). Their Kickstarter begins today (!) and lasts until June 1. There are lots of great options, so make sure to head over and see them all. We just backed Laura for the “Our Best Deal” package and look forward to getting our cards in July if the project is fully funded. Just opened this morning and they are close to halfway there! Hope you take a minute to check it out. Link in my bio or visit their IG. Happy Tuesday!
#laurasgreetings#ability not #disability#specialeducation#employment#artist#downsyndrome#iamable#kidsofinstagram#calebscrew 💙💛 @hiva_lee @hannahleebee15
Flipping the switch on a MonYay! after watching The Greatest Showman last night 🎩 If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you. We love this movie! Sure, it’s got its critics, but the film has a storyline filled with wonderful themes - facing challenges and rising to the occasion, dreaming big and realizing what’s important in life, and most of all, accepting others who might be different than you. And loving those differences! The world is too big of a place for everyone to be the same. Celebrate what makes you stand out and have a super week!
@greatestshowman #celebratedifferences#differentisbetter#uniqueabilities#happymonyay#igersjax#kidsofinstagram#iamable#reevestees#calebscrew 💙💛
Wow, a Saturday with nothing on the calendar yesterday! So you know that means working on our poor yard. It was tough winter (ok, yes we are not still getting snow 😆😨) which meant some sod, mulch, and raking up all those durn leaves. Caleb was a trooper and we spent a good four hours out there (swipe). Future employment skills? Perhaps! He loves getting out there and getting dirty. Almost as much as he loves cooking. It might be a close call!
Make sure you watch that last video. After four hours, he made his point 🎤😊
.tee: @target .
“Look dad! It’s the Torch!” 🔥 Yesterday was our annual Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR) for Special Olympics Florida - and it was a beautiful day here in Jacksonville! SWIPE!
If you’re not familiar with LETR, the Torch, known as the Flame of Hope, will travel from county to county over the spring and end up in Orlando in May for the State Summer Games. Law Enforcement personnel raise $ ($5,000 this year in Jax!) by selling t-shirts and hats to support Special Olympics FL, and they had over 150 officers participate this year. Always fun to run/walk with our school’s athletes, and thank those officers who take the time to support this cause. And special thanks for @99.9gatorcountry for coming out too!
#torchrun#flameofhope#letr#specialolympics#playunified#liveunified#specialolympicsflorida#igersjax#calebscrew 💙💛 @specialolympicsfl @specialolympicsduval @cityofjax #iamable#kidsofinstagram#kidswhorun
Just about a year ago, I got a message from Lee with the @toothbrushpillow He explained his product, how it could help people with unique needs, and would I be interested in having Caleb try one? Shortly, we received our Toothbrush Pillow, and Caleb began trying it out. It helped tremendously with his independence with brushing, and has led to greater independence overall in bathroom.
Not only did we get a great product out of the conversation, but as Lee and I talked, he encouraged me to start blogging about Down Syndrome and other special needs on their website. I ended up doing so, and its turned into a great partnership. I couldn’t have been more thrilled when Lee shared that he and wife Diana were adopting a little girl with Down syndrome! Little Kenzie is home with her Forever Family now and flourishing!
All that to say that I love this family, and their heart and passion for the special needs community. I’m still blogging for them (see the link in my bio) but need ideas from you! Caleb is eleven now. We have grown and learned over the past eleven years what it means to have someone with unique needs in our family, challenges and successes, and now starting to look down the road to what adulthood might look like. Please comment or message a topic that you think might be helpful to you - where your child is at now. Also, make sure to check out the Toothbrush Pillow for your own child and see how helpful it can be. Happy Friday the 13th!
Aww - baby Caleb! A special #tbt this morning. A few weeks after Caleb was born, my parents came to visit. It was slightly strange, but good. We were still internalizing everything his diagnoses (Ds + heart issues) would mean going forward. Some good days and some sad days, not yet knowing how lucky we were 💙💛
His actual due date (April 11) was his first real outing., besides the grocery store! We all headed to our city’s minor league baseball game. I was anxious to see if people noticed he had Ds, still not really knowing what to say. Caleb was unfazed, lol and slept most of the game. It was a good first experience and helped build up my confidence a bit.
Flash forward to yesterday (SWIPE), when we headed to that same place, same date, for the @jaxshrimp season opener. No sleeping this time 😁 - Caleb loves the games, and we got to see Ms Jordan-highlight of his night. It’s funny, at outings now, I actually look forward to people noticing that he had Ds, and perhaps sharing a story about someone in their life who has Down syndrome. What a difference from that first trip to the ball field. #wouldntchangeathing#theluckyfew#downsyndromerocks#jumboshrimp#igersjax#baseball#iamable#adore_able#calebscrew 💙💛
Never pass up a chance for a photo op with the @roarofthejags ! We had a fun (albeit chilly) time the other day supporting our friends with Autism here in Jax at their annual Autism Awareness Month kickoff. Bubbles! (Swipe), food, speakers, vendors and more. Shared some information that will hopefully help local families looking for resources.
It’s important for the different “uniquely-abled” communities to support each other. As we come together to advocate and educate, we are collectively a louder voice. With approximately 10-15% of the US having some sort of disability, there is a lot of opportunity to work together and help make change happen. Better together!
#uniqueabilities#ability over #disability#igersjax#autismawareness#autismawarenessmonth#iamable @makingstridesforautism #advocate#educate#empower#calebscrew 💙💛 @riversideartsmarket
We are thrilled that Caleb is an ambassador for AbleFinder Inc.! Their #IAMABLE campaign is a celebration of those who are differently-abled.
Coming from all over the world, and with all sorts of experiences, the stories and faces represent a collective and undisputed voice of ability, passion, joy and worth. It is a community, where people are recognised by their name, not their diagnosis. Learn more and get involved at @ablefinder !
#iamable#ability over #disability#uniqueabilities#igersjax#boysfashion#kidsofinstagram#calebscrew 💙💛
Happy to share information this morning about a kitchen tool, since Caleb loves all things “kitchen”, and simply because we love this cool item!
Gary from @barkworksdesigns has a young nephew, Billy, who happens to have Down syndrome. Billy was not only born with Ds, but was also oxygen-deprived at birth, and the entire family had a scary first few months, not knowing his future. The good news is, he survived, and has brought his family - even extended family - closer together than ever before. Gary’s words: “Billy is joy. He brings our family such happiness and light!” ❤️😊
Gary is a woodworker by trade and originally designed this unique cutting board for Billy’s parents. Mom Kelly has recently acquired the “lucky few tattoo” and Gary wanted to incorporate that element into the board. Swipe to see it’s special design - 23 columns of quality cherry and maple hardwood, each column representing our 23 pairs of chromosomes. If you look closely, the 21st column has an added strip of wood, to symbolize that extra bit that our kiddos possess. “Barkworks put the Lucky Few symbol on a background of tulip wood.” It’s green color represents Spring, new growth and new hope.
Finally, five of these boards are being donated as prizes for a fundraiser for @ndssorg , selected by Gary and his family to “impact adults with Ds who may have aged out of community programs, helping them live and thrive to the fullest.” Want to win? Visit the fundraising page: give.classy.org/Barkworksdesigns and donate $5 for each chance to win. For each $500 they raise, one lucky winner will be selected. All winners announced by May 1, 2018. You can also visit their IG to read more about Billy’s story and see some other beautiful designs. Love when people give back!
#givingback#fundraiser#theluckyfew#nonprofit#cookingwithcaleb 💙💛 #ndss#barkworksdesigns#calebscrew 💙💛 #iamable
One year ago today, we were headed to our nation’s Capitol to advocate with all these other wonderful advocates at the @ndssorg Buddy Walk on Washington. Always a great experience and so sad to miss it this year (next week). @sean_from_born_this_way and Caleb were discussing their run for Prez and VP. I would vote for them! 😊
There are so many topics in the legislature that can impact our families and loved ones. Take some time to get familiar with a few of them, and talk with your representatives about them. Advocacy can begin with nothing more than an email or phone call. Representatives are there to serve you. Letting them know what’s important to you is a first step in developing into what could be a long-standing relationship.
Happy Tuesday/Monday today - back to school and routines. Have a great day!