Thursday, October 20, 2016

{31 for 21} School Day Video.

I asked Ellie to share about Math time at school.  The game she's talking about is where you roll a number, build that number, and then determine which group has more/fewer.  It's a game to play with a friend.  Although Ellie is in the highest reading group, Math is a struggle for her but Kindergarten has given a huge boost to her numeracy skills!
A video posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on
Pin It!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

{31 for 21} Seriously, Another -ism?

Despite being a special education teacher, it wasn't until Ellie was about a year old that I first heard the word "ableism."

My definition: Thinking people are valued based on what they're able to do.

It's a hard one.

We praise so much based on ability, but I believe that our value is so much more than how fast we run, our IQ score, the clarity of our speech or the money we make.

People have value.

People should be treated as if they have value.

Barriers down.

Embracing each person as an image bearer of God.  Even if they "can't."  Can't walk, can't talk, can't act like we've been taught to act.

Value in people.  Because they're all people.

It's worth thinking about.
Pin It!

Monday, October 17, 2016

{31 for 21} Another Quote Post.

Straight from my Facebook:

"Please make an audience... Please make an audience!"

"Today is Sunday October 13, 2016" (close enough) "We will make better choices. And we're gonna have recess in an hour. First get our handwriting books. You should probably line up."

Reading the cover of "Fancy Nancy the 100th Day of School." 
"Fancy... Nancy...the... 100th... Day... For... SANDWICHES!"

Pin It!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

{31 for 21} Every Year.

I am so over writing this post.

If you're reading this blog, I assume you don't use the word "r-tarded" to refer to kids with Down syndrome or intellectual disabilities.  I can be reasonably sure you don't use it to refer to typically developing friends who do something dumb.  I can hope that you don't use it to refer to messed up situations.

But don't let it slide.

Remember in the early 90s when everything was "gay?"  And it took a lot of people, not just LGBTQ+ people, speaking up and saying "hey, this isn't nice" to get "gay" out of our vocabulary as an insult.  I think people had to realize they were using a description of a real person to insult people/things.  They had to know that it was painful.

Well, now there's a lot of people with intellectual disabilities and their families trying to get "r-tarded" out of our common vocabulary as an insult.  I'm one of them.  And while I feel like less people are saying it, I've been reading a lot about.... "f-uckt-rds," "Republ-tards," "l-btards" and more.


Just stop.

And stop others.

If you don't get it, do it for me.

If you don't care about me, do it for Ellie.

Using an outdated medical term for my daughter to describe something you think is broken or foolish at best and disgusting or morally offensive at worst.... that's not fair to her.

Say what you mean.

Do you think something is a terrible idea?  "That idea is terrible."

Is your chair broken?  "I hate this broken chair!"

But real change?  It takes getting to know people.  So while you're at it, get to know someone with a disability.  Give a face to that slur.  Yes, slur.

I hate ranting.  But I'll do it for Ellie.
Pin It!

Friday, October 14, 2016

{31 for 21} All About Ellie.

VIDEO!!!!  The Shine Box is basically an "about me" project Ellie is working on for school.

A video posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on

A video posted by Megan Landmeier (@meganlando) on
Pin It!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

{31 for 21} Living with a Person with Intellectual Disability.

What's it like living with a child with an intellectual disability?*

(Props to my friend Missy for this question.  Missy I'm sure has her own take on the subject, as her daughter also has Down syndrome.  I love her suggestion to highlight the reality of living with a person with an intellectual disability, or ID.  I'm not going to go into great detail about my previous fears, but I'm sure you can all stereotype and consider those fears.)

Some things take a long time with Ellie.  Every single thing she learns requires a greater level of intentionality.  I didn't realize this until I watched how easily Caroline picked up various skills that Ellie needed broken down over and over again.

Ellie is hilarious.  I don't think that has anything to do with living a child with ID, I think it's just who Ellie is as a person.  She has me cracking up on a daily basis.  Or she has me beyond angry but trying not to laugh on a daily basis.

There's so much paperwork.  Medicaid, IEP meetings, doctor's notes.  Seriously.  I don't feel organized enough for it, even five years in.

There are really good people you meet.  Frequently, Ellie gets attention.  She gets attention from people because she's cute, because she can have challenging behavior, because she's a huge extrovert.        People who have siblings with Down syndrome and gush when they meet Ellie.  The mommies in my old neighborhood raised about $1500 more than we normally raise for the Buddy Walk.

And you also have a lot of awkward conversations.  (With adults.)  Kids are direct.  Adults can be weird.  I get random awkward questions like, "Isn't she super advanced for a Down's kid?"  "Her speech is, but otherwise she's a fairly typical five year old with Down syndrome."  "No, she's very advanced compared to my cousin's sister's whoever..."  I find myself explaining what Down syndrome is really like quite often.  This may seem like an odd annoyance, but if you assume Ellie is exceptional, here's what I hear:

* She's more okay than other kids with Down syndrome
* She can participate because she's exceptional
* Her value comes from her abilities, not her personhood or intrinsic value as an image-bearer of God
* A child with DS and more delays wouldn't be as accepted
* You value people based on talents

Ellie is smart.  Smart in a savvy or manipulative sense.  I just came across an old post from when Ellie was a toddler climbing on a table.  I told her not to sit on the table, so she stood up.  She follows directions very literally.

It's not that hard.  Or that easy.  Or always different or always good or always bad.  It's just life.

*Technically, Ellie has never been formally diagnosed with ID.  As a person with Down syndrome, it's a safe assumption, but she's currently classified as a child with Developmental Delay as we've never had her IQ tested, either by the school or privately.  This is a hot button issue in the DS community.  We do plan to have Ellie tested when she's older, but five seemed too young.  We will need proof of intellectual disability for services when she is an adult.
Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...