Monthly Archives: April 2013

Dolls representing people with Down syndrome

Dolls for people with Down syndrome, or “Dolls for Downs” is a pretty cool organization that makes dolls that resemble the features of people with Down syndrome. This movement was started by the mother of a girl, Hannah, who has Down syndrome. She wanted a doll that looked like her. These dolls can be very empowering for people with Down syndrome. There are different dolls available for order, featuring different, hair, skin and eye colour as well as different genders. There is an option when ordering the doll to have the doll feature a scar on the chest, to resemble the scar that many individuals with Down syndrome have after receiving heart surgery at a young age.  There are also different accessories available for purchase such as; glasses, hearing aids and eventually AFO’s.

I am a little partial to one specific doll, Aziza. Aziza was a little girl with Down syndrome from Toronto, ON who I learned about through her mom’s blog. I’d been following her story for a few months because she was adopted by her family and I am very interested in adopting those with Down syndrome. Sadly, Earlier this year Aziza passed away. Dolls for Downs created a doll in her honour featuring her appearance. I think this is an amazing and beautiful way to commemorate Aziza and her journey.

There is some backlash in regards to these dolls, there are some people who believe that these dolls portray a negative stereotype; all people with Down syndrome look the same and all have the same features. Personally, I LOVE these dolls. I think that they show people with differences that not every doll needs to be “typical” and that anybody is “doll-worthy”. Yes, the dolls highlight the main physical features of people with down syndrome. But, I think these dolls show to the world that it is perfectly okay to have Down syndrome. Different is not less.

Read a Toronto Star article about Dolls for Downs: http://www.thestar.com/life/parent/2013/04/16/dolls_with_down_syndrome_prove_

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Read about Aziza: http://mylittlewarriorprincess.blogspot.ca

Visit the Dolls for Downs website: http://www.dollsfordowns.org/index.html

Picture of the dolls from: http://www.dollsfordowns.org/index.html

Paying it forward in honour of Gavin Leong

Gavin’s story is one that I’ve been following through his mom’s blog for sometime now. Although I didn’t know Gavin personally, I learned a lot about him and his family and the kid that he was becoming through the blog. I was completely heartbroken to read a few days ago that Little Gavin was admitted to the hospital and things were looking quite grim. Sadly, Gavin officially passed away a couple of hours ago. His organs are being donated to help other people in need. Gavin was a superstar and made a huge impact on so many people’s lives. Gavin’s mom has requested that people pay-it forward in Gavin’s honour. Do something nice for another person in honour of Gavin, here’s what Kate wrote about it on her facebook page:

Ed and I will be announcing our choices for “in lieu of flowers” donations to honor Gavin in a few days, but today is my birthday and this is all about me. I’ve come up with a special, totally FREE way to honor my sweet son who could inspire the most profound emotion without ever saying a word. I’m asking you to help someone… document it with words and or a photo… and place it on the Chasing Rainbows Facebook Page. Then be sure to check the page often to get inspired by the outpouring of love. Here are some great ideas for you… Find a special needs classroom in your community. These are usually low funded and always looking for donations. Perhaps you have toys your kids don’t play with anymore that could be used in the classroom or during therapy. Random crayons that are laying around. I know we always needed rug gripper to place under Gavin’s behind when he sat – that’s a good need. Do you know a special needs Mom in your neighborhood? Church? School? Tell her you’d like to make dinner for her family. What night would work? Then tell her the only requirement is they have to give a “cheers toast” to Gavin during dinner. Help someone struggling to unload groceries into their car in the rain. Donate clothes to a women’s shelter. Check with your local children’s hospital for volunteer opportunities – even if it’s just for two hours of your life. Save all of your magazines and bring a big stash to your local hospital. You have no idea how helpful that is to parents who spend days, weeks or months (as I did when Gavin was a baby) sitting in their child’s hospital room. These are just some ideas… be creative! And think of Gavin when you do it. Share his story with the person you are blessing. Tell them that Gavin Leong changed the world with little acts of courage, determination and a sweet smile… without ever saying a word. And then ask them to pay it forward to honor his legacy. This would be the best birthday gift you could give me. There is no time frame – you could post something today or a year from now or five years from now. Thank you for helping me to honor my amazing little boy. And feel free to share this anywhere you want! 

xoxo, kate.
Chasing Rainbows

Please keep Gavin’s mom and dad and little brother, Brian in your thoughts tonight. Pay-it forward for Gavin’s legacy.

Rest in Peace, kiddo. ♥ 

Read about Kate and Ed’s day here (and read more about their story): http://www.kateleong.com/2013/04/gavin-david-leong.html#.UWtsf79hdAQ 

Check out their Facebook page here: Chasing Rainbows 

Reduced and Free Apps in Celebration of Autism Awareness Month

556081_10152575970120424_1933361654_nIn celebration of Autism Awareness Month, many Special Needs App developers have reduced the prices on their apps. There are reduced prices on all different kinds of apps, communication, ABA, flashcards, social skills, sensory activities and more! Some of the developers have even completely cut the cost of their apps to $0. There are some really innovative apps that are available at an extremely low cost.

Today only (April 10th 2013, urTalker Pro, regular $99 is available completely free of charge. This is a really cool and high quality communication app. It’s available for all apple touch products (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad/iPad mini)

You can download it here: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/urtalker-pro/id533018709?mt=8

In addition, to different daily deals there are all also deals and price reductions that are available for the entire month of April.

Here’s a link to a good chunk of the the apps reduced and free: http://www.smartappsforkids.com/2013/04/apps-free-and-reduced-for-autism-awareness-month.html

There are some pretty GREAT apps available!