For those of you have been paying attention, I have been posting every day here on the blog, something that is relevant to Down Syndrome for the entire month of February. I’m not gonna lie. It’s really difficult to come up with a relevant post EVERY DAY for 28 days in a row, but with the help of my friends I managed to do it.
I have been lucky enough to have some very wonderful people who were willing to share parts of themselves for my cause. My “guest post” tab will be growing and I’m honored that so many people put themselves out here on Momma ‘N Manila…not just for me and Gelli, but for all of you as well.
I hope that I have been able to share at little bit of my parenting journey with Gelli, and that it has increased your understanding of what Down Syndrome is about. I know that with understanding comes acceptance, and with acceptance comes inclusion. And in the end…I just want Gelli to be included…
Sharing my journey with all of you would not be complete without sharing the organizations which have provided wonderful opportunities for me to grow in my parenting and love and support of Gellibean as well.
Once such organization is DSAPI. After I had searched the internet for the books I wanted to purchase to help me parent my daughter, I skimmed the blogs of mothers who had children with Down Syndrome. After I skimmed the blogs of parents abroad, I searched for an organization here in the Philippines. Through the DSAPI website, I found their Facebook group. I scanned the very active Facebook group for ideas of what to expect in my joureny and stories that I felt I could relate to.
At the time, Gelli was probably no more than a month or two old. I saw that there was an Early Intervention Seminar coming up on the calendar. As an educator, I knew and understood the value of Early Intervention for children with special needs, so attending this seminar was vital for Evangelina to get a head start on reaching her goals and milestones as she would grow.
Truth: Nino didn’t see the need in attending such a seminar when our daughter would be less than three months old at the time of the seminar.
Nino supported me in those first few weeks that I found our daughter’s diagnosis so devastating. He did not falter in his love nor his faith. But, in that moment, I knew that he might not have been ready to join a group which I knew would be a valuable resource to us as parents. I remember telling him that he didn’t have to go, if he didn’t want to…but that I was firm on attending and if he wasn’t interested in attending, that I would attend for both of us and our daughter because I felt it was important.
Of course he saw the value in attending the seminar with me after we talked about it some more. He accompanied me despite his reservations and apprehensions.
Attending the Early Intervention Seminar was the first step in putting Gelli on a program that would be the foundation of what was to come. The talks, movies, slideshows, and sharing of other parents, gave me a concrete place to start with my daughter so that I could provide experiences and opportunities for her to reach her full potential. The therapists, doctors, and parents, provided answers to questions we both had. They paved the way for Nino and I to explore different ways we could help our daughter achieve.
I remember EIS for the first friends we made in DSAPI…Tony, Agnes, Elmer, and Adette. I knew that I would have people in my corner forever, when I met Shereen and Elaine, as we shared our stories in the small group break outs. I remember the hope I had in my heart when I saw sweet Adeline Lois standing with her parents Luis and Sani; giving testament as to why early intervention is so important and how it helped Addy in reaching her own milestones.
And for all of that…I am grateful.
The first EIS of the year will be taking place very soon. If you are a new parent to a child with Down Syndrome (or you know someone who is), here in the Philippines, and you can make it to the seminar, I am sure you will come away with the very same tools that I did. EIS will equip you in raising your child and creating an understanding that will provide for many aha moments in your parenting, that will guide you on the new journey you are embarking on.
Feel free to contact the DSAPI office for more information on how to register for the seminar.
The Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI) is a non-stock, non-profit organization, founded in 1991 by a group of dedicated and committed parents and concerned physicians. It aims to offer support to families who have a child with Down Syndrome and to initiate, develop, promote, encourage and support programs and projects concerning Down Syndrome. DSAPI believes that the initial reactions of new parents that typically bear disappointment, sorrow, fear, guilt, confusion and anger can be replaced with positive attitudes of warmth, love, understanding and hope.
DOWN SYNDROME ASSOCIATION OF THE PHILS., INC. (DSAPI)
2nd Floor, 6372 Agrifina Building
Camia corner Meleguas Streets
Guadalupe Viejo, Makati City, 1211 (near Rockwell)
Contact Numbers: (63-2) 895-36-06 / Tel/Fax: (63-2) 895-96-42
Office Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00AM – 6:00PM