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  • He’s a Wonder

    He’s a wonder. ❤️ If you don’t know him personally, let me give you some insight. Joel is considered non-verbal. This causes a lot of frustration with him. There have been times that he’s gotten violent. Not all days are good days. He is the source of most of my happiness and love but he also has the power to break my heart at times. He’s physically hurt me before but he’s worth all the struggles. I love my boy. He’s a wonder. He can spend all afternoon in his room talking to the wall and get so mad if someone interrupts. I want to know what he’s saying, what he’s…

  • Language

    The way we speak says a lot, whether we realize it or not. Especially when we speak to individuals with disabilities. It is important that we are aware of our terminology and manner of speaking. There is power in our language and in what we put labels on, so we should be able to decipher what is appropriate and what is not. In order to be sure that what we say and how we say is appropriate, here are a few tips and recommendations to keep in mind when speaking to people with disabilities. The first thing we need to understand is that people with disabilities are not suffering from…

  • Regression?

    I wanna say Joel was 10 years old in the picture. So about 8 years ago. So little. So precious. So long ago. I miss this little booger. So Joel seems to be reverting back to some problem behaviors and also picking some up. He has been more aggressive. Back in his early teen years, Joel was violent with us. He hit, bit, threw chairs, and cursed. He has been calmer in the last few years. He hasn’t bitten anyone recently nor has he thrown chairs or something. But, just like anyone he does get mad gets loud with us and occasionally throw something at the wall. But my point…

  • Joel and Jesus

    This will obviously be a more religious post. and For reference when you are reading we are nondenominational Christians who lean more on the on the Pentecostal side sort of. Does Joel know who Jesus is? This question always gets me thinking. I honestly don’t know if he knows. I’ve asked him a million times and sometimes he says yeah and other times he doesn’t answer. I know he enjoys worship at church, although there are times when he just sits and fidgets with anything. There have been times where we’ve found him dancing alone in the bathroom to worship music but then again he also does the same to…

  • Sometimes, It Gets Crappy

    See that beautiful face in the picture? See how adorable he is? Keep that in mind when reading this post! Living and caring for Joel means that sometimes, you will have to put up with his crap. I mean literally. Literal crap… poo-poo. He used to have way more frequent accidents when was younger, and naturally, as he got older, he got better.  I’ve mentioned in previous posts, about how it took so long to potty train him and how my mom had to go to the school a lot to change him or pick him after an accident. Thankfully, the last time he had an accident in school I…

  • Summer Adventures

    First off… HAPPY 4th of JULY!! Joel has had quite a busy summer. Starting with his graduation, prom, parties… Joel has been having a great time. Earlier last month he went on his annual trip to Lion’s Camp! Sadly I do not have pictures of his trip because he goes off on his own. We used to pack him a disposable camera but all the pictures would come out bad or the camera wouldn’t even be used. Its a whole week of fun and no parents, Joel always comes back so happy. When I ask him what he did, all he tells me is a list of the food he’s…

  • Self-Advocacy & Self-Determination

    We are constantly told that our loved ones with disabilities need to have self-determination and self-advocacy skills. But what does that really mean? Self-determination and self–advocacy are skills that go hand in hand but at times the line of distinction can get blurry. Both share a similar interest: independence! Self-Advocacy: Self-advocacy is an important skill that your loved one with a disability can obtain. Without it, they can often be overlooked, used, or even abused. But what is it? Self-advocacy is the ability to speak up for yourself, knowing your rights, wants and needs, identifying your personal goals and the steps to get there, and being able to communicate them. Not everyone…

  • Graduation?

    If you follow us on social media, then you probably know Joel attended his first regular high school prom and he attended his graduation! Woo-hoo! Prom: Joel is an amazing dancer and loves going to shindings, but we have never let him venture out on his own. He’s gone to special needs proms and dances but my sister and I have always gone with him. I know… I know… special needs proms? What about inclusiveness?!?! Look, I’m all for inclusion, I really am but I’m also for Joel having a good time. Joel loves going to special needs proms and I won’t stop him from going for the sake of inclusion.…

  • Morgan’s Wonderland

    We visited Morgan’s Wonderland two weekends ago. In case you don’t, Morgan’s Wonderland is the only fully inclusive theme park in the world. Sadly, their water park was closed still… huge bummer. I was very impressed with all of the wheelchair accessible swings and rides. But in my opinion, I think they need more rides , but then again who I am I to make such a suggestion. Joel had a great time. He loved the swings with the back support cus lord knows this has no balance. I think his favorite was the Ferris Wheel but he also really liked the jeep ride and the sensory village. He was…

  • Death by Cop

    Ethan Saylor. He was a 26 year-old who had down syndrome. He died five years ago while in police custody. I know I’ve written about it before but I wanted to revisit Ethan’s case. Ethan loved the movie Zero Dark Thirty. He loved it so much that while his caretaker when to get the car after they watched it, he snuck back in without paying. The manager of the theater called the police on him. They did not know how to handle a situation with a person with an intellectual disability. They killed him and no one can convince me otherwise. Ethan loved law enforcement to the point he would…