Another "Letter from Rylee!" (She's such a busy girl these days!)
This letter went home with all of her 1st grade classmates (for their parents) after a few days of school. (We did this in Kindergarten as well, but somehow I didn't get it posted here.)
Rylee is very lucky to have some wonderful friends with amazingly supportive parents -- parents that I now consider to be great friends of mine! I know Rylee will grow up with a tremendous support system around her at school...
Here's to "New Friends!" *glasses clinking*
I wanted to tell you a little bit about myself.
My name is Rylee.
I am 6 years old, and I am excited to start 1st grade!
I like reading books and riding my bike.
I love to swing and can't wait to play at recess with my new friends!
Do I sound like your 1st Grader? Well, I am a lot like your son or daughter.
But there is something else that makes me, me... I have Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is just a small part of who I am...
there is so much more to me than just my "diagnosis."
I am actually more alike other kids than I am different.
I have likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses
and I experience all the feelings your child feels.
(You know, happy when I can eat my favorite snack,
mad when my brother takes a toy away,
and sad when I have to come in from playing outside! Sound familiar?)
It may take me more time to learn to do certain things,
but I will definitely learn to do them!
With my loving family, supportive teachers, and caring friends,
I can do anything!
You know... some kids have brown hair and some have blonde.
Some kids have blue eyes and some brown.
Some kids are good at playing baseball and some are great at drawing pictures.
Some kids have 46 chromosomes and some have 47
(like kids with Down syndrome.)
What makes us the same is that we are all different.
And I think that's pretty cool.
I know that kids like to ask questions
and now that your child is starting 1st Grade,
he/she may ask you questions about kid
whom they perceive to be different from them.
Your child may ask you questions about another child,
like "Why doesn't she talk very well?"
"Why can't she ride a bike yet?" or "Why is he in a wheelchair?"
You can answer by saying that everyone's bodies work differently...
some kids walk with 2 legs and others get around in a wheelchair.
Some kids learn to say words when they are very young
and other kids learn a little bit later.
Teaching us that we are all unique and different
(and not making "being different" a big deal)
shows us that it's okay to be different.
In fact, if grown-ups talk to kids about these things as they grow up,
the differences we have, will have become unimportant.
And you know what your kids will be seeing?
Thank you, Rylee
If you would like to read other "Letters from Rylee",
please click on "Letters from Rylee" at the top.
(You may then click on each letter to download a pdf file.)
Thanks for passing along and helping to raise awareness!
© 2010 Carin Griffith • Disability Awareness Alliance™