Golf for young adults with Down syndrome

Here’s a post about a golf class for young adults with Down syndrome at a resort in Spain.

La Manga Club’s first golf course for youngsters from the ASIDO association recently came to an end with a Par 47 tournament and prize giving hosted by Golf Pro and Course Tutor, Mark Hook.

Every Thursday afternoon since last October, La Manga Club Golf Academy has been filled with young people eager to learn all the secrets and benefits of golf. A total of 10 students attended the course, during which they have worked on golf skills such as the swing, stance and build-up routine. The young golfers have not just improved their technical skills, but have also worked on concentration and focus, memory skills and psychological aspects such as self-esteem and social skills.

via Golf course for young people with Downs Syndrome finishes at La Manga Club | La Manga Club Official Blog for La Manga Resort in Murcia, Spain with Golf Holidays, 5 star hotel, tennis breaks, Spa La Manga Club.

Surfing in the Special Olympics?

In waist-deep water off Cocoa Beach, 32-year-old Dawn Blanchard is taking only the second surfing lesson of her life, yet she manages to stand, however briefly, on nearly every wave she catches. And each time she does, she flashes a double thumbs-up, beams joyously and announces, “I did it! I did it!”

This continues for two hours. Yet no one — not the surf instructors, not the considerable crowd of earnest spectators on the beach, certainly not Blanchard herself — seems to weary.

“It’s awesome,” said Deb Spence, a Special Olympics swim coach who cheers from the beach. “She’s actually doing a lot better than I did when I started.”

Blanchard is one of Spence’s Special Olympics swimmers, and this surf lesson is part of a grand experiment to try to introduce surfing as a Special Olympics sport. It’s a collaboration between Cocoa Beach’s iconic Ron Jon Surf Shop, which is picking up the tab, and Special Olympics Florida. The program launched a week ago with eight athletes, ages 18 to 43. All of them have intellectual disabilities, from Down syndrome to autism.

via Surfing in the Special Olympics? The seeds are being planted – OrlandoSentinel.com.

Students cast nearly unanimous vote for Prom Queen with Down syndrome

oaprom01Colleen Fisher just may be the most popular Prom Queen ever selected at Oakfield-Alabama High School.

In a landslide of ballot votes, the 18-year-old garnered all but about two votes to be crowned at the junior/senior prom held at Stafford Country Club.

She is a graduating senior, very well liked, who happens to have Down syndrome.

“She is a wonderful young girl,” said High School Principle Lynn Muscarella.

via O-A casts nearly unanimous vote for Prom Queen with Down syndrome | The Batavian.

‘Romeo and Juliet’ inspires young Miami actors with autism, Down syndrome

The clatter of weapons echoed. The swordsman took a fatal wound to the chest and plummeted to the ground.

But instead of staying dead on the stage, Joseph Paz sat up and looked at the director.

“I don’t want to die,” he said.

Welcome to the spring performance of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, presented by 25 students, ages 15 to 33, from The Learning Experience School, which offers schooling for students with special needs. Many of them have Down syndrome, or autism, or another disability. The South Miami-Dade school teaches academics and functional life skills to help them integrate into society.

via Shakespearean drama inspires students’ theatrics – Education – MiamiHerald.com.

‘The Specials’ – reality TV that shows life with special needs

via YouTube – Vote for The Specials!.

One politically correct thing to say about The Specials is that Sarah Silverman won’t be adopting them any time soon.

The cast of the 10-episode reality series features five young adults who have slightly varying degrees of learning disabilities; four of them Down’s syndrome, while the fifth, Lewis, has Williams Syndrome. The precedent for a show with an actor living with Down’s goes all the way back to Corky from Life Goes On to the more recent Retarded Policeman. But in The Specials, all the main players are disabled. It creates a far more inclusive dynamic. Each of the five principal cast members narrates scenes and intros and appearances by any other characters are limited.

via: http://news.tubefilter.tv/2010/06/02/the-specials-shows-life-with-special-needs-especially-watchable/

Founder of ministry for special needs children says his own kids opened his eyes

The newest member of the Smale family wouldn’t stop smiling.

At home in Goshen the other day, 11-year-old Bronté’s face lit up as she posed for a picture with her parents and sisters. She wore the same happy expression while swaying back and forth on a tree swing and riding a three-wheel bicycle in the driveway.

“Mollie’s my new mom,” the girl said, hugging Mollie Smale, who is 50. Then, she hugged her new father, Jeffrey Smale, 51, the pastor of Madeira Baptist Church.

The Smales adopted Bronté, who has Down syndrome, from a Colorado foster home last month, bringing the number of children in their family to seven.

via Couple’s children opened their eyes | cincinnati.com | Cincinnati.Com.

Unified, Utah, offers monitors for those with cognitive conditions at risk of wandering

The Unified Police Department is offering search monitors to people with cognitive conditions linked to wandering, such as Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome and dementia.

The SafetyNet monitor emits a radio signal from a device worn on the ankle or wrist, police wrote in a news statement Monday. If the wearer is reported missing, officers can use the signal to find the person.

There is a $99 enrollment fee and a monthly fee of $30.

For more information, call 877-434-6384.

via Monitors offered for those with cognitive conditions – Salt Lake Tribune.

Down syndrome harassment on “What Would You Do?” on ABC

A grocery store bagger with Down syndrome who is harassed by a customer is featured this week on ABC News’ “What Would You Do?” – which creates situations and sees if people intervene. (The bagger is played by an actor with Down syndrome.) Did anyone intervene? The show airs May 19. From the ABC News press room:

Will anyone sound the whistle when they see two commercial pilots drinking heavily at an airport bar? Who will stand up for a bagger at a grocery store with special needs being harassed by an ignorant customer? Will restaurant patrons intervene when a waiter complains about a lesbian couple with a child? Using hidden cameras, “What Would You Do?” sets up everyday scenarios and then captures people’s reactions. Whether people are compelled to act or mind their own business, John Quiñones reports on their split-second and often surprising decision-making process, on a special edition of “Primetime: What Would You Do?” airing WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.

This series shows what people actually do in the face of everyday dilemmas that test their character and values. Friday’s scenarios include:

* DRUNK PILOTS: Hundreds of millions of Americans take to the skies each year trusting their pilot to get them to their destination safely. What would you do if you witnessed two commercial airline pilots drinking heavily at a bar – just an hour away from getting into the cockpit?

· SPECIAL NEEDS – SPECIAL TREATMENT: People with intellectual disabilities have more professional opportunities than ever before, but they still face ignorance and even bigotry. Working in cooperation with the National Down Syndrome Society, an actor with Down syndrome poses as a bagger in a grocery store. But it doesn’t take long for an ignorant customer – also an actor – to start protesting. “What’s the matter with you? Are you retarded?” he complains. Will unwitting observers, waiting their turn at the cashier, take a stand against this abuse or will they ignore it?

via ON A SPECIAL EDITION OF “WHAT WOULD YOU DO?,” AIRING WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 – ABC News’ Press Room.

Down syndrome: The importance of friends

Everybody needs friends – but sometimes making friends is hard. Here’s a post from Keepingupwithds on a seminar about friendships and people with people with Down syndrome.

Associate Professor Keith McVilly from Deakin University presented a seminar on friendships for people with Down syndrome on the weekend. As well as confirming the importance of friendships for every person and the difficulties faced by people with disabilities making and maintaining friendships, Ass. Prof. McVilly spoke about what friends are and strategies to help friendships occur and prosper.

Research has found that the best long term friendships come from school and faith-based communities.

He recommends using social stories, finding out what the person is interested in, finding others who share those interests and teaching useful social skills. He spoke about setting up circles of friends and support groups. These work best when initiated from home or in primary schools.

via Keeping Up with Down Syndrome NSW: Library Thursdays: Friendship Resources.

Inclusion for children with Down syndrome in mainstream classrooms

Studies show children with Down Syndrome benefit from inclusion in the regular classroom. However, one of the risks of inclusion is that children will be placed in the mainstream classroom and without proper inclusion strategies to learn in that environment. Here are tips for successful inclusion.

via Inclusion for Children with Down Syndrome in the Mainstream Classroom.