On November 18 2009 at 4:02 am William Alan Bartosch was joyfully welcomed into our family. He weighed in at 7 lbs 9 oz and 20 in long. We were stunned to discover that he was born with Trisomy 21, or Down syndrome. We love him unconditionally from the top of his toe-head to the tips of his toes. We know that this diagnosis will not define him. He is a happy, healthy little boy that just happens to have an extra chromosome.



Follow us on this unexpected and exciting journey as we learn how to live life Will's Way.



Friday, March 22, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Will's World

I'm feeling lucky to be a part of this world that I dreaded just 3 years ago.  I am getting to the point where I can't imagine it another way.  The Down syndrome community is like nothing I have ever experienced before. It is like having a special pass to a secret club.  Last week an email spread around my local Ds community of a new mom of a baby girl with Ds that was looking to connect with other moms. It spread like wildfire. Other moms were emailing around to get her in touch with people in her neighborhood (me), or with similar complications, or with kiddoes the same age. It was amazing!We all can't wait to meet the newest member of our club:)

Will playing at the Science Center with our Ds Weekend Playgroup
 






The other really cool thing that happened to me today is that I was checking out at the grocery store when I noticed that the young woman at the end helping bag the groceries had Down syndrome. The cashier waved and gooed at Will and he waved and said 'hi' to both women. The woman with Ds immediately looked at me and said 'does he have Down syndrome?'.  I said 'yes he does' and she said 'I thought so'.  So we did introductions and she told me she wants to work with kids with Down syndrome.  I said maybe she should volunteer at a preschool and then we all said goodbye.  The cashier admitted that she didn't even realize Will had Ds, but this young woman picked up on it right away:)  Wouldn't it be great for her to work at Will's school?! I need to look into this. But mostly I'm just thrilled to have had this wonderful interaction with this woman.  I still struggle with thinking about Will in adulthood and how that might look, but this helped my view a little bit!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Painting

Painting on our snow day last week!
His grip is getting much better as is his willingness to paint and get a little messy!
 
 
And he finally smiles at the camera when I ask and says 'cheese':)




 
 

Family

Hanging out with Uncle Ricky.  Probably watching IU basketball:)
 
 
Riding a bike and swinging with my cousins and my Great Grandma Brough.  Grandma Brough took all four kids out to swing and play on a chilly February day.  She is an amazing woman!

 
Will finally has the core strength to hold himself up on the big kid swings!  Milestone:)



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Inclusion

I was recently talking to a friend and mom of typical peers at Will's school about how important inclusion is for both my kid and hers.  I was telling her how great it is for Will to be around typical kiddos so that they can model things for him in the classroom.  The possiblities here are endless...from speech to jumping, painting, eating, to pretending and socializing.  I could go on but everyone knows why playing with typical kids helps children with developmental delays progress.  What I really wanted to tell her is what a huge service and gift she is giving her kids by putting them in an inclusion program at such an early age.  Her son in particular is extremely patient and compassionate towards Will.  At age 4 he shows more acceptance for people of all abilities than most adults do.  Most important of all is the awareness and exposure to children that might act and learn differently.  It will become comfortable for him to be around children that talk different, have different social skills and sometimes look different.  Of course I see this from a different point of view than others may because of my personal situation, but if we want patient, compassionate and accepting adults, we need to teach our children these traits through practice.  To me this seems to be way more important than our ABC's!
 
 
 
If you need another point of view as to why it is important, read this article.  I put it up on Facebook but I don't think most people noticed it.  I felt it was one of the most profound articles I had ever read.  It is so honest.  It also explains why many adults are uncomfortable with disability and why it is so hard for us to accept when our child has different abilities and challenges.