So much to share with you this time around that it may not all fit into one digest. There has been a lot of amazing stuff on my favorite blogs to visit lately...
1) My fellow 5 Minutes for Special Needs contributor, Suzanne, shared her inward (at least) response to a person who left an anonymous note on her car window. I hope the person read it, somehow. Just another reminder that not every disability is visible, even the physical ones. Let us be kind to one another, please.
2) My "down under" blogging friend Autism &Oughtisms shared a touching post about her autistic son and his imaginary friend. In addition to exploring various theories of imaginary friends, she explains how she views this as a positive step in her son's development. I distinctly remember my own joy when my daughter at more than four years old pretended to use an invisible object in her play for the first time. I was ecstatic and nearly burst into tears.
3) Tammy over at Praying for Parker expressed one of my darkest fears. Statistics estimate that 90% of unborn babies diagnosed with Down Syndrome are aborted. Tammy points out that some view this as a way of preventing Down Syndrome. What happens when we can test for autism prenatally? I have no doubt there are people working toward this. I can't quote statistics, but my general sense is that the average joe (or jane) has a more positive view of Down Syndrome than they do of autism. Interestingly, both disorders can have a whole range of effects on the developing child, so termination ends a life that isn't fully understood. I think I am particularly sensitive to this topic right now because an acquaintance of mine is expecting the birth of her third child in the next few weeks. According to some prenatal screening her unborn son has a higher than normal risk of Down Syndrome. She already has one child with special needs...and has gathered a whole pack of people around her to pray, not necessarily that the test will be wrong, but that their family will be able to celebrate the birth of their son no matter what the future holds.
4) I continue to enjoy the Special Needs Siblings Saturday posts at The Squashed Bologna. Mid-October, Varda's guest blogger was Michaela Seafoorce. I ready her SNSS post, but also followed Varda's advice and read two of her posts on her own blog here and here. I have been thinking a lot lately about peer advocates and how to find them, how to teach them, what to say. Michaela is just one example I've looked at. More on this in the weeks to come as I get my thoughts together...
5) I am kind of shaking my head these days in disbelief that I'm the mom of a second grader. It's all going by so fast. Laura Shumaker's post at City Brights about the transition to adulthood was a wake up call...time will continue to fly by and one day the child will be the adult. What then? The only thing I can do at this point is to continue to try to build in the skills and support that she will need when we get there a dozen years or so from now.
I hope you will enjoy all the links as much as I did, and if you visit do let them know you found them through The Simple Life.