I’m Back – What a Summer!

Well, it has been a long time since I have shared with all of you. I have mentioned before that I am still getting the hang of this blogging thing. Thank you for sticking with me.

It has been a busy few months. Let me get you caught up on the exciting things happening in my life…

During the long weekend in May the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s conference was held in Edmonton. My mom helped to plan the conference and get things organized here. When we arrived at the hotel to move in for the weekend my mum and Michelle could not find me in the car! Good thing I am small!

On the Thursday night I meet with my VATA friends and I helped prepare the SWAG bags that all people coming to the conference would receive. It was cool that we got to host families from all over Canada and even some of our favorite friends from the USA in our city.

Saturday was fun! I attended a session by Dr. McGuire and then I went to the film festival. I was able to see three great films that featured people born with Down syndrome. Later in the afternoon my sister and I led a Yoga class for the young adults. What an interesting experience. I got to see once again that while there are similarities between people born with Down syndrome we are all very unique too. That evening my friends and I got all dressed up and went to a Red Carpet event just for us. We walked the red carpet and had our pictures taken. We were all stars!

Sunday was Soul Sister Sunday! My sister Michelle and I presented our session called Soul Sisters. We had over 40 people come and listen to us. I gave people a lot to think about and made them laugh. Humour is the best medicine! Michelle did pretty well too. After our presentation we went for brunch with our good friends Gail and Blair from Los Angeles. Blair is like our brother. We call him “Knucklebean” or “Burger Boy”. I was sad to say good-bye to them but I knew we would be seeing each other in a few weeks in Phoenix. Sunday night we closed the conference with a big dinner and dance. There was lots of food, yummy dessert and dancing! It was a wonderful weekend!

Please stay tuned for my next blog so you can get caught up even more on my life.

Be Inspired,

Tanya

 

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Friendship

“You don’t buy a friend, you earn a friend”. Richard Pryor

What is friendship?

-Listening

-Sharing

-Helping

-Trusting

-Communicating

-Learning

My friend Sydney moved to Edmonton from a small town called Lyndhurst, in Ontario. She moved here to participate in the Ascend Leadership Project.

We first met at the Anglican Parish of Christ Church. The church hosts a Community Dinner once a month and I help by setting tables. I invited Sydney to join me, A few days later my friends from PULP came to film my promotional video. We invited Sydney to come by and be apart of it. During that day we had a great time talking, laughing and learning about each other.

Now Sydney and I see each other at least once a week. When we spend time together we like to make art, go out for tea, be active and tell each other about the important things that happened in our week. The most important part of our friendship is that we encourage each other to be the best we can be.

I believe friendship is about helping, it is about listening and it is about ensuring that your friends are appreciated for who they are.

Be Inspired,

Tanya

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Education

Education is very important to me and mine started at a young age. I was a part of the first integrated early education program at Mayfield Elementary School. At the age of 3 I would get picked up in a cab and off I would go. This program gave me my start and showed me that I was capable of learning. From there I attended Montessori where I learned to read, write, count and many other life skills. I was very lucky because I had teachers who believed in me and were patient. This type of school worked really well for me and set me up to continue my learning.

I was able to attend the same junior/senior high school as my sister. I went to regular class with an aid. Many times I asked her to sit at the back of the class…I wanted to sit with the other kids. I participated in choir and was able to go on many trips. I made a very good friend in homeroom and we are still friends to this day even though she is a busy mom. My experience was good and I was able to learn many lessons in and out of the classroom.

My mum had to open peoples eyes sometimes and ask then to take a chance on me. I think people find it hard to say “no” to her but in the end they never had to because prove their outdated perception wrong.

I know that some people with disabilities haven’t had similar experiences with education. I think that we are all individuals and that each of us should be set-up for success in all areas of our life. To parents out there…help your children have the most positive educational experience they can even if it doesn’t look the same for each child.

If it wasn’t for my family and my teachers I would not be where I am today. I am a lifelong learner…lucky for me the people in my life think I’m a great student!

Be inspired,

Tanya