5 Reasons I Smile

The ultimate goal of this blog is to spread awareness and show how beautiful life can be. We have four amazing daughters. Our youngest was born with Down syndrome. If just one person stops here and leaves with a different, better perspective about Down syndrome, then it is worth it. Regardless, I have 5 Reasons to Smile!

Thursday, August 25, 2011



Making decisions for any of my children is either quick or agonizing.

I either know exactly what I want to do or I am uncertain about what is "best" and it becomes agonizing.

What school? What teacher? What Doctor? What activities? How many activities? What age can they do sleep overs? Currently, I have answers to all those questions (my answers are subject to change at my discretion). However, new questions arise almost everyday, especially as they are getting older!

Having a child with Down syndrome adds more layers and more choices to our decisions. With Kamryn, I had the same options for preschool as I did her sisters, except I also had the choice to put her in a County Special Education preschool.

The decision was agonizing.

Over the summer we had several appointments and meetings with Kamryn's Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Child Psychologist, PE teacher and Special Education Teacher. They were determining what government services she would be eligible for when she turned three.

When you have a child born with a developmental disability, they are eligible to receive services from birth to age 3. This program is called Early Start. At three, those services end and you must have your child "evaluated" to determine if he/she is still eligible for services and what those services maybe. (Tonight I am not going to VENT about how ridiculous that is. Kamryn has Down syndrome, she will more than likely have delays. She should be eligible for services in an effort to be pro-active with her development...regardless of the evaluations).

Kamryn did not qualify as having a "developmental disability." She is actually developing at age level (per the "testing") and therefore did not qualify under that eligibility. She does have a speech delay and some gross motor delays. This gave us the option of the County Special Education preschool.

After several discussions and sleepless nights, Diondray and I decided that the "best" place for Kamryn would be a small, private preschool. (In contrast to a county school with other children who have special needs or development delays.) Her therapist and all the professionals that evaluated her agreed that she would thrive in that environment. There were SEVERAL reasons we came to this decision.

We want her around her typical peers. (By the way, I can no longer stand the word typical).

Her receptive language is fantastic. She listens and can follow instruction.

Her speech is developing daily and we want her around children that are speaking and speaking clearly.

At this time, we think it is best for her development.


She started Monday. She walked right in and began to play in the kitchen area. I spoke to the teacher for a few minutes (the teacher operates out of her home, the family room is converted into a "class" room and there are 6 children. The back yard is an amazing play ground. It feels like a good fit). I gave Kamryn a few kisses and hugs and off I went.

I did not cry. I wasn't sure how I felt. I was a little worried she might cry. I was worried she might start to ask for me.

She didn't.

I picked her up (along w/her fan club) at 12:30 and we took her to her favorite place....

I am still questioning our decision...did we make the right one? Should she be in the County school? Have we made the right choice? I know, that at this moment, we have made the "best" decision for her.

She is enjoying it. She can't wait to go back tomorrow.

I will sleep good tonight. :)


  1. I feel the same way ALL. THE. TIME. But in the end it's about trusting your gut - even if you always question it, too ;-) Sheridan will stay in his private Montessori school. He'll get supports outside of school (PT, OT, Speech), but the best place is for him to be in a regular ol' classroom (we think the Montessori philosophy is perfect for how Sheridan learns) with other kids his age. Nothing against Special Day Classes, because those are the best fit for many children. Just not Sheridan. You know Kamryn best, so if it feels right, it is :) And you can always switch if you need to.

  2. Tyson will be going to a private preschool in oct - I am amazed that you do not even have the choice to put K in in a special education preschool - it's amazing how different it is in each state- it's great that she is doing so well but like you said- she will most likely have some delays- I am in the process of trying to get a TSS(an aide) for Tyson to stay with him during class and found out that he is not entitled to one with just a DS diagnosis- he must have something else wrong with him - preferably an autism disorder(real nice- huh) so they are basically committing fraud by putting a diagnosis on his report that is false- (oh don't get me started either!!!) best of luck! this is all the beginning of a new journey!

  3. you made the best decision as kamryn's parents! you took everything into account and went with what felt right - that makes it the best decision! i am sure she is doing GREAT!!! we are sending whitney 2 days a week to a private "typical" (totally hate that word now too!) preschool (the same one as anne) and 3 days a week to the public early childhood preschool for where we live. i am hoping she will get the best of both worlds!
    by the way - love the pics of her first day of school + happy birthday to naomi!