Thank you for turning toÂ Becky’s Next Page.Â When she turned 18, we began a new adventure into the world of adults with intellectual disabilities.Â This is written to encourage other parents and those with Down syndrome to be advocates for change.Â I heard at the National Down Syndrome Congress Conference an interesting statment – This is the first generation of kids with DS who have had the benefit of developmental therapy.Â YES! and it has made all the difference!Â Now, we have to change the perception of DS to the world!Â These kids are on the move!!
Being involved with people, particularly the underdogs, is one of my passions.Â In the past, I have helped start two support groups, one for alcoholics called Celebrate Recovery and one for adult adoptees and birthparents called Search-Finders of Idaho.Â I am currently involved as a support for my daughter, Becky, who is a Self-Advocate Speaker with Down Syndrome.Â She has served on the board of the Treasure Valley Down syndrome Association as the first board member with Down syndrome.Â As part of my job supporting Idahoans with disabilities, I have worked with the College of Western Idaho to develop a new program for adults with intellectual disabilities at the local community college.Â Together, we are working toward improving the lives of adults with disabilities in Idaho.
In between my days of advocating for open adoption records, and today, advocating for adults with disabilities, I devoted my time to my family.Â Â Â Over the last 15 years, I have home schooled 5 kids who were each not only missing a natural parent, but two had learning disabilities. Â Adding to the mayhem, we took in a foster child who had Down syndrome for 12 years.Â Education comes in different forms. My college education was in deaf education, but my home schooling education was in special education.Â Â My most important work was done during those years.
Life is changing at an alarming rate!Â I know they say it happens fast, but this is ridiculous.Â In the course of four years, four kids were goneâ€¦ where did the time go?Â Two of my kids have now graduated from Liberty University, one has gotten married and been commissioned as a 2nd lt in the Army, one has gone to meet Jesus after a hiking accident, and my foster son went back to his parents.Â I have one more in her last year of high school, and then it will be just Becky and I.Â Despite some tragedies, God has truly been good to us.
We will be starting a new chapter in our lives in August of this year when we move to Alpine, TX and begin work on reaching adults with disabilities in West Texas!Â We are sad to leave our friends, but excited to start this new adventure!Â Writing these adventures are a great joy, but not always on top of my to do list.Â I will do the best I can!
I hope you will turn with us to “Becky’s Next Pageâ€.