Sunday, October 4, 2015

{31 for 21} Explaining.

Ellie, at age 4.5, stands a head shorter than her peers.

She's slower on the playground and speaks less clearly and potty training is harder.

And she wears glasses (most of the time).

Those are things about Ellie that are different.

Sometimes, other kids ask about those differences.  (And sometimes, in the case of our sweet neighbors, it takes 4+ years of knowing Ellie and another kid to point out the differences to notice.)

This is what I'd ask you to say to kids who ask.

Ellie has something called Down syndrome.  She had it before she was even born and she'll have it forever.  She's not a baby even though she's small.  It means some things are harder for her - things like learning to walk and run and even talk.  It means some things are easier for her - like how she's really flexible and can do the straddle really easily at gymnastics.  And some things are just different - like how she's pretty short but still 4 1/2, or how she wears glasses or needed her heart fixed when she was a baby.  And some things about Ellie are the same as all other kids - she has feelings and can be a good friend.  She loves to play kitchen and babies and animals.  Ellie is exactly who God made her to be.

Yep, all phone photos.  It's rainy and gross and we haven't been outside much.... or done a whole lot.  Maybe if the weather clears up this weekend I'll do a little photo session with Ellie. 

Also here's a couple of my favorite books about Down syndrome.  (They're affiliate links.)  I've purchased these for friends before to help them understand.  The first book is better for older kids and the second is better for younger kids.  While My Friend Isabelle doesn't directly mention Down syndrome, it's great to show other kids the same age as Ellie because of the comparisons.

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