Routing for the A Lister

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Routing for the A Lister

In every high school movie, there's the geeks, jocks, mean girls, skaters, thespians, partiers and the "In crowd".  Thanks to Disney, Brandon wanted to get into the latter.  He could taste it.  We knew it wasn't possible, so we had to help reframe Brandon's goal.  We got Brandon involved in everything we could outside of school to alter his thoughts, but he still had it on his mental bucket list.  Brandon self advocated to at least get an interview and we prepared him to get another "NO" into The Associated Student Body.  When Brandon got his acceptance letter, you would have thought he won a million dollar lottery.  His senior year, he proudly wore his ASB shirt around school and the community and was finally one of the crowd.  The "In-Crowd" or group who controlled what activities and spirit days and what happened at school  He also became a very good friend of the ASB President and prized their relationship.  As Brandon learned of all his fellow classmates getting their acceptance letters, he would come home and tell us what school they were going to attend and celebrated with their success.  When Teagan got accepted into her first school of choice, Brandon was SO excited for her.  It's great that our loved ones with Down syndrome can rally for others and not have an ounce of jealousy or envy.  Brandon is always rooting for "The A team" or "A Lister" depending on which group, you're part of.  He roots for all groups and I'm proud of him.

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Goals and Dreams

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Goals and Dreams

Everyone has goals and dreams.  Well most of us.  Our goal was to get Brandon out of high school without killing his spirit.  Most parent of a child who has Down syndrome may look at the school as the only educational avenue, but we have sent Brandon to school for the social/emotional aspect and it was an extension to his overall learning.  We never looked at his IEP goals, nor did we even care if he met even 50% of them.  As parents, his success was measured by his happiness, doing his best every day, being kind to others no matter what, creating new opportunities to learn and changing attitudes of others.  If you were to ask Brandon how he measured success, he would say "Setting a goal and achieving it".  Brandon got his certificate of completion in June and that wasn't good enough.  He got his high school diploma, but not from his high school.  We went a private school route.  That's another story!   Now he can check it off his list!  

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