Thursday, September 27, 2018

Everything happens for a reason

Dear readers,

It's almost down syndrome awareness month, and we couldn't be more excited. Thanks to our precious Laksh, this is our second year celebrating the unique and talented people with Down syndrome.

The more I think, the more I feel like Laksh and us were meant to happen no matter what. I know its silly but I always keep looking for omens, like God is trying to guide me through these signs. I am sure, you guys are aware that Down syndrome is caused by a third copy of the 21st chromosome, which incidentally happens to be my husband (3rd) and my birth date's (21st). If this isn't God telling us he got it, then I don't know what is.

God's favorite child

In today's time, children and adults with down syndrome are achieving so much and paving the path with success for all of us to follow. They are giving us "hope", something that unfortunately most of the medical world never does. You may have heard some doctors saying that your baby will always be happy, which some how paints them to be different than other kids. I have heard so many parents with typical kids telling me their kid is a happy child. How is that different from a baby with down syndrome being happy? And most importantly, your child will experience an array of emotions, just like anyone else. It is just that they might be easier to forgive you and move on. Live in the present and be kind. 

One thing that irritates me the most is how doctors let down syndrome define your child's life. Anything I say Laksh is feeling, the answer is because is has hypotonia. I remember once I asked his doctor about excessive salivation and she said he has low tone in his mouth, but in reality it was because he was teething. You have to remember that this news will not over power your life. In fact, in a while it will slide into the background and you will just have good and bad days like anyone else which has nothing to do with down syndrome and everything to do with having a baby. You may have heard of Mikayla Holmgren - the first Miss USA contestant with Down syndrome, she once said in an interview that she has down syndrome on the side. I absolutely loved that and feel that is the best way to make people realize how it is not what defines you but just something you happen to have.
Also, more recently a 19 year old with Down syndrome won an international beauty pageant. Read more about her here:

Could become a teacher, you never know

To mention a few more to make us see the ABILITY and not the disability in people.

Angela Bachiller from Spain became the first person with Down syndrome to ever be elected as a councilwoman

Sujeet Desai from USA plays seven muscial instruments including the violin, piano, saxophone and trumpet

Megan McCormick from USA is the first person with Down syndrome to graduate with honors from a technical college

Pablo Pineda earned a bachelor’s degree in educational psychology and has gone on to be a writer, speaker, and actor.

Ruby Plachta is a 7 year old awesome kid living with her parents and older sister in Texas and has already helped so many adults with down syndrome to attend college.

Madeline Stuart is an Australian to become  the world's first professional model with Down syndrome.

Isabella Springmuhl Tejada is a 20-year-old fashion designer from Guatemala.

John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome is a co-founder John’s Crazy Socks
Laksh walking towards success while rocking his ponytail

These are just a few examples of how these young adults are shattering the image of what or how someone with Down syndrome should be. These talented individuals have so much determination that nothing can keep them down. Nothing can stop them and my Laksh from succeeding in life. All we need to do is believe. Thank you for reading. Remember to always be kind. 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Life is simple. Eat. Sleep. Swim.

Dear readers,

Swimming has  been something we have always enjoyed as a family. In fact, my hubby, sisters, and my niece always sort of gravitated towards water, be it the ocean, sea, lake or a man made pool. Swimming has always been a wonderful experience. Apart from giving me a sense of freedom, as we all know, it is a great exercise. Swimming not only builds endurance, muscle strength, and cardiovascular fitness, it also tones muscles without actually having to strain it by being weight bearing. Swimming is one of the few exercises that use mostly all of the major muscle groups.   

We recently enrolled Laksh in a group swimming class. I don't know if you guys remember, but sometime back we took him swimming for the first time and he loved it. After that, we had decided that we want Laksh to get comfy in water and probably pick up swimming as a skill early on. So, we started looking for classes online, and after a lot of research chose this one. This class is once a week for 10 weeks and has around 15 kids in each class. They offer two 30 mins classes called "Water Angels (6-19 Months)" . In these classes through songs, fun and instructional games, students learn to be comfortable in the water & learn basic water skills. As all babies are pretty young, an adult has to accompany them in the pool. 

At one point, all babies were given ducks that they had to throw into the water and then swim towards them in order to catch them. This is Laksh completely focused on the task given to him.

 Just want to share some videos (that I was able to edit to hide the faces of other kids) I took during the class.  So much water, so little time.



With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination. 
 Michael Phelps          

In related news, sometime back I read about this team of boys with downs syndrome that were competing along typical kids in the swimming pool. If that doesn't give us hope, then I don't know what else can. Its an amazing time to be alive and always strive to be better tomorrow than you are today. If you want to read more about these boys, please read the story here:

Leaving you guys with a couple of Laksh's swag post swim photos. Lots of love 💓


To the makers of the movie Mimi

First of all, I would like to thank you for opening the dialogue about Down syndrome in our Indian society.  Thank you for showing that a ch...