Monica lived all the events of her senior year to the fullest. We were delighted to see her in cap and gown and carrying the bouquet of roses. She was a terrific hostess at her celebration. Her work at a Summer Internship through the County put her in a position to be ready when a job opened in the fall. She now puts herself 110% into her new job. She is on the cleaning crew at a county building: sweeping, mopping, cleaning tables and chairs in the cafeteria, etc. She is progressing well in her piano lessons and played a string of songs for us at this year’s caroling party. She also works one morning a week for a mom of six kids here in Fairview Park as a mother’s helper. Mary Ellen’s volunteering is in transition now with Monica’s schedule changes, so the two of them will be investigating involvements they can do together, of course looking forward to having more time with her sister and her nieces in the year ahead.
Monica is delighting in her senior year of high school. She spends one-half day in the work program at Southwest General Hospital and one-half day at school. The SWGH work program has been especially encouraging for us because the program administrator has placed her in regular jobs (clearing trays in the cafeteria and laundering surgical towels) and in patient rooms (restocking supplies). Her job evaluations are very high and she so enjoys the work. This year Monica also began piano lessons. A professor at Baldwin Wallace University was intrigued by the challenge and has experimented with many teaching methods. We are thrilled with her progress, every day her singing and playing at the piano lifts our hearts. She will walk with her class at graduation in June!
Fairview High School has approved Monica for the Community Work Experience program at Polaris Career Center. She is in a rotation of jobs at Southwest General Hospital learning many skills that will allow her to be employable by graduation if not sooner! She loves working and the staff love her. In the afternoon Monica returns to Fairview HS for classes. Her curriculum there is very practical and focuses on functional math and language skills. Maybe you have gotten a note from her? Monica corresponds more than anyone else in our family, remembering birthdays, events and concerns. She loves to go to daily mass with Tim and Greg and outpours cheerful enthusiasm. And she tickles the ivory! Every day she practices piano with an amazing self motivation. On Sundays, when we have family spiritual reading, she eagerly participates and focuses on speaking very clearly. Greg and Monica attend parish youth group meetings and events, with Greg keeping a watchful eye on her without getting in the way of her making her own friends.
Monica was thrilled to be designated Fairview’s #1 Fan by the school principal at a pep rally this fall. She continues to love high school and all its activities. This fall she helped as a ball-return girl with the JV volleyball team until she had surgery on her hand for a trigger finger. Her classroom now consists entirely of special needs children. So while her academics are now at the right level for her, she misses socializing with her former peers, but she manages, and has a good group of friends throughout the school. This year she and Greg joined our parish youth group and they are both enjoying the activities there. During the summer Monica began to click with the piano after years of random attacks. It is amazing, she now smartly plays some simple classics with great enthusiasm. Another first for Monica was her participating in a special needs dance class. She loves the lessons and the friends.
This year Mary Ellen, Rebecca and Monica went to Florida for our goddaughter, Sarah’s wedding shower. She is Tim’s niece. Later the whole family went down for the wedding. It was beautiful and a great family gathering. The kids were all seated with cousins at the reception and we really enjoyed sitting with Tim’s siblings. We also took time to explore some remote sites in Florida.
Hi, this blog is created to give others encouragement about living with Down syndrome. Our daughter has Down syndrome and is very happy to be alive. In fact, our family has a wonderful life and Monica brings so much joy to us. I hope that this blog will help families have hope and courage when they are surprised by a child with Down syndrome. We were shocked and a little scared when we found out, but we took one day at a time and kept up our hope. We love Monica very much and thank God for her every day. (Maybe because she brings us coffee in the morning!) What does Monica like to do? She really likes camping and hiking with her family. She loved high school every day through her graduation! Now she really enjoys her jobs include working on a cleaning crew and in a copier and mail company. She especially likes being a mother’s helper for a family of six(!) little boys, she does this once a week on Thursday mornings. Every day she writes in her journal, writes letters to friends at college and writes cards to sick people in our parish. She enjoys knitting and knits hats and scarves for anyone who wants one! Choose your colors! She really enjoys piano and take lessons at Baldwin Wallace College. As I write she is playing “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from Annie! Right now with her job earnings she is taking sewing classes. She just started so she has not made anything just yet. She is a wiz on her ipad. (It’s amazing how intuitive this tool is.) We can honestly say that Monica is a great gift, we would be very much poorer in joy, adventure, personal growth without her. Enjoy!