The History of Ty’s Adventures:
I started writing from Ty’s perspective in 2008 after we learned of Ty’s upcoming hear surgery and turned it into a blog in 2010. Ty is my oldest of my three sons and has Down syndrome. Two heart surgeries, a flat line, a pace maker (aka “Machine”) and a whole lotta mischief later, I’m still writing about that little stinker. He certainly likes to keep us on our toes.
I try really hard to keep the focal point of my writing about Ty on the positive. I have had people ask me HOW do I continue to write so positively, when some days they just aren’t? Don’t you get frustrated? My answer is simple, I don’t live in “La-La Land”, I have my down moments when I feel like the world has declared war on me; but I try to stop and make a conscious choice. 1. I can get really down about the current state of things, or 2. I can spin it in a funny way, a moment I can learn from now and laugh about later. Now which choice sounds more appealing to you?
My whole focus is to share this remarkable person with the world, so others see the way Ty’s brain sometimes works because of his Down syndrome can be really funny and not frustrating. When I look at it that way, it’s easier to push through the frustrating moments and see them as gifts. I’m very thankful I can grab a pen and a notebook and just start jotting down the event that just took place and try to put a funny twist on it if I can. Like when Ty literally dove through the open window of a neighbor’s Ferrari and pretended to drive it. I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much in my life! Not all situations will be like that, granted; but the ones that are bring me so much joy, they outweigh the rough moments. I got him out of the Ferrari, if you were wondering, without a scratch and without setting off the alarm or the neighbor’s temper. *whew*
When I am able to put a funny spin on a moment, to me it kind of turns into a game. I’m a kid at heart, really, just ask my husband who is more excited to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings, ride bikes outside, or spout off Marvel superhero trivia, the boys or me? *Spiderman rocks, by the way* I think because of my playful, kid-at-heart, geeky nature I’ve always been drawn to gadgets and apps.
In February 2011, I created App-ucation Month on my blog as a way to share this massive list of “Special Education Apps” by Eric Sailors a friend shared with me. Soon after that, my husband won an iPod Touch, and since I had been lucky enough to spend a good amount of time using an iPad as a tool in the Special Education classroom setting, I knew before it even got to our house what we would use the iPod Touch for. So for AppMo2012 I launched videos of Ty using different apps on his iPod Touch for parents and educators to see what an amazing tool they had for kids like Ty; kids with cognitive delays; kids with Down syndrome.
AppMo2013 just ended in February; I took it a step further with the help of some amazing people and app developers, raised funds to get Ty his own iPad and bring more awareness to Down syndrome cognition research using videos of Ty on his iPod Touch. The amount of gratitude I feel for those who helped me reach my goal is indescribable. We celebrated in style, thanks to a couple amazing friends who work for Apple who organized a warm welcome when we picked up Ty’s iPad at the Store.
App of the Month Series:
I will be carrying the concept throughout the year with an App of the Month series and hope to be able to gift a deserving kiddo with Down syndrome an iPad next February for App-ucation Month 2014. I’m trying to get my other two sons more involved in the whole process (so they feel more included) and have signed us up for a Workshop at our local Apple Store to learn more about what the iPad does and specifically how to make movies. Should be fun! *yet another excuse to play with a gadget lol*
To read more about Ty and his adventures go to: www.tysadventures.com