And I was worried that she would never speak or develop self confidence…

There are mornings when my alarm does not go off and getting the kids out of their beds on a school day is a struggle. As a result, there are days when they do not have time to eat breakfast or brush their teeth. “Shove a Pop Tart in your mouth followed by a few mints” are the words that may come out of my mouth on a weekly basis.

On one such challenging morning, I found myself raising my voice like a drill sergeant. “Get your computers off the charging stations, get your shoes on, grab your lunch bags and…” before I was able to complete my list, my daughter Maddy hollered back, “I am independent, I have Down syndrome and I can do whatever I want!”

In that moment, I could not have been more proud to hear her yell back at me.

Over the years, there have been countless times I wondered if Maddy would be capable of talking in full sentences. I was concerned that people would not understand her given her speech delay and lack of communication skills that typically come with having a diagnosis of Down syndrome. I had hoped that over time, with practice and learning how to advocate for herself, she would find her own voice so she would not need to rely on anyone else to speak for her.

I am 17 years into parenting Maddy. I am fortunate that she can communicate her wants and needs effortlessly as this is a life skill she needed to master while she was still in high school.

This parenting gig has been nothing short of challenging, demanding, joyful and often comical. I am looking forward to watching Maddy navigate the complexities of transitioning into adulthood.

If you have any questions regarding the school supports that your child is receiving, please contact Oak Wealth Advisors.