Saturday, June 30, 2012

Every Child Has.... Free Printable

Happy Weekend to you all! 

As I live and breath lately all things encouraging to children and teens, my dear friend Andie at Crayon Freckles has come up with a darling printable you are sure to love!

It speaks to my heart, hopefully it may speak to yours... to print yours please visit Andie at  crayonfreckles: Every Child Has....

Friday, June 29, 2012

Building Up Buttercups!

Self esteem issues plaque all children no matter their sex, age, color, or ability.  Children with physical anomolies and other special needs are no exception.  As a matter of fact when a child has an outward appearance that is somewhat different from the norm it can seem as though these feelings of inadequacies are amplified and exaggerated.

Ms. A, just recently finding out she needs 2 hearing aids has had a semi catastrophic effect on her self esteem and anxiety level.  Hearing aids, while not nearly a life threatening crisis in themselves, have been my catalyst to really focus on building up the little buttercup and getting this blog off and running!  Adding hearing aids to her already full cup {short, chunky, glasses, full face, leg length and size discrepancy, feet deformity causing a need for special - not so pretty- shoes} has pushed this young teen into overload!

Source: via Kim on Pinterest
While much of what I write seems 'special need' based... it is my belief that all children need some help from time to time to shine!  My son, whom we lovingly refer to as 'Awesome' not because we are self centered or egotistical, merely because of a pronunciation issue and it stuck- often deals with self esteem or self value issues.  As a parent I am not lost to the fact that Boom receives and needs my attention alot which ultimately results in less time spent with and for Awesome. 

God said, "Let light shine out of darkness." He made his light shine in our hearts. It shows us the light of God's glory in the face of Christ.

It is my hope to let light shine here.  Whether special needs or not, everyone- everywhere, has a light... it is my dream to keep it sparkling!  That's where you come in my friend!  I want to hear from you!  I am looking for guest posters to contribute to this cause!  C'mon and represent!  You have something to add whether you believe that or not!  Share your story, share an inspirational moment, share an activity or a craft, share beauty tips... share an idea that boosts self confidence, self esteem, and empowers our youth to keep shining!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spread the Word to End the Word

I have just taken the pledge to make the world a more accepting and inclusive place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities!

Words are hurtful.

As the mom of an intellectually disabled teenage daughter,
I have seen first hand the damage this word can cause.

I have watched the use of this word
my daughter's

I will never forget the utter disappointment I felt when my Boom
 was a mere 2 year old...

a close young relative; while joking with her friend about school issues
flippantly and unexpectedly
referred to a child who road the 'tart cart'.

As a new mom I froze in horror.

Now, I knew my young relative absolutely adored my daughter and in no way
to be hurtful...

a lesson in empathy ensued, I asked quietly,

"Some day Boom will go to school, and Boom will more than likely ride that bus.
Is that how you want other's to refer to her?
Will she just be another 'tart' who rides that little 'cart' to you?"

The lesson had been firmly imprinted that day and was never spoken again.

Through the years, we have been passersby
subjected to hearing the use of the R-word by strangers.

Children often throw the word around in local playgrounds and side streets
unaware of the damage it causes.

Friends and family have all too often while telling a story
or commenting on some incident in their daily lives
made use of the R-word.
Some but not all will stop mid sentence and look to me adding
"I'm sorry, you know I'm not talking about your daughter...
I didn't mean her, but"
as if informing us that the use of the word is Okay in some way.

It is NOT Okay...

Won't YoU JoiN Me by taking the Pledge too?
Visit now and find out how you can help.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I am the disabled child

This is one of my favorite poems or quotes about a special child. 

It speaks to my heart and encourages me when I am down... it is so very true that a special child has an amazing knack for making people look within themselves to see what is important!

I hope that you also gain some encouragment from it!

I am the disabled child.
I am your teacher.
If you allow me, I will teach you what is really important in life.
I will give you and teach you unconditional love.
I gift you with my innocent trust, my dependency upon you.
I teach you about how precious this life is and about not taking things for granted.
I teach you about forgetting your own needs and desires and dreams.
I teach you giving.
Most of all I teach you hope and faith.
I am the disabled child.
Author Unknown

Friday, June 22, 2012

Never Lose your Sparkle- Self Esteem!

Children with special needs like my Boom often begin to realize or know that they are 'different' from other children.  It is something they may start to question and 'feel' from a young age or may begin a bit later in life.  Alexis began to sense she was 'different' somehow when she was about 10 {give or take a year}.  Frequent trips to the doctor, specialists, the need for OT, PT, speech therapies, numerous surgeries, the need for special shoes unobtainable from the corner mall, glasses, exclusion to the learning support classroom while 'mainstreamed' in school, countless meds taken on a daily basis are all just a sampling of things that take place in a SN Child's life that may leave them feeling as if they are under contant scrutiny and under the proverbial microscope. 

Even those with intellectual disabilities like Boom can have a strong sense of intuition- she just 'knows and feels' things that she perhaps cannot put into rational words.   Whether a child can express these feelings verbally or not does not mean they are not questioning their own self worth in comparison to others. 

Boom will be 16 in 10 days from today.  I have made it my life's mission to cherish, teach, and support this child in any way I can. I am very aware that many of Booms' same age peers {those without SN} are fighting their own internal battle with self esteem- this is a hard age for girls and boys despite having physical or intellectual disabilities.  At this moment, I watch my good friend's 'average' daughter suffering which breaks my heart; she seems so perfect, beautiful, and normal {for lack of a better word}!

So how do we as parents and educators learn strategies and techniques to battle low self esteem?  It is critical for the well being of all children; especially those who are aware of how their special needs
set them apart to help them cope and view themselves as the wonderful creatures they are.  So how do we do it?  I'll be discussing some of the ways I and others have worked to combat negative self esteem in the coming days.

It has been my purpose for the past 15 years and I have made it my life's mission so that my daughter and those like her...never dull their SPARKLE!

It is my hope to raise awareness {and in the near future- a 'Sparkle Fund' to benefit charities} for self esteem issues for children and adolescents with and without special needs.  We will discuss issues that effect our young peoples lives both positively and negatively.  A Haven for support for children and parents affected by special needs of all kinds!  I'll need your help... I am Looking for those who would like to share their story with us.  Do you have an idea or suggestion that you would like to share?  Perhaps a crafty way to help build up our kids?  Send them to me @ kimberlysminkey {at} yahoo {dot} com ASAP!  I"ll share them both here and on my other blog Tiaras and Bowties!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Wonderful Things are coming this way!

Please excuse us as we are "Under Construction!" right now.

Feel free to visit me on my other blog- Tiaras and Bowties!