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gillian marchenko

Author and Speaker

Archive for April, 2014

My top Down syndrome posts

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Top Down syndrome posts If you’ve stumbled upon my blog because you typed in the words ‘Down syndrome,’ WELCOME! My name is GillianĀ and I am mom to two little girls with Down syndrome. Polly And Evangeline Polly is eight years old. Evangeline is seven. She came to our family by way of adoption from Ukraine in 2009. Evie was diagnosed with autism this last year, so we are now also a dual diagnosis family. I’ve been blogging about Down syndrome for about six years. I’ve…

An eight-year-old birthday party with Down syndrome

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An eight-year-old birthday party with Down syndrome My daughter Polly invited all the girls from her second grade class to our house Saturday for her birthday. The theme was a cooking party. I ordered paper chef hats and aprons for everyone to use and then take home as party favors. The menu included homemade personal pizzas, a fruit caterpillar, a snack butterfly, and cupcakes (thank you Pinterest. I hate you but I love you). The guests arrived, and in twos and threes, dove right in…

World Autism Awareness Day – working on it

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World Autism Awareness Day – working on it Today is World Autism Awareness Day I forgot. “Shouldn’t Evie be wearing blue today?” Sergei asked in passing as the kids got ready for school this morning. “You know, for the autism thing? We got a note about it.” I changed her shirt, and got our little girl, now seven years old, ready in time for the bus. I’ve been a part of the special needs world for eight years. I advocate. I love. I accept. I…

5 things to do/not do after you receive a special needs diagnosis at Chicago Parent

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5 things to do/not do after you receive a special needs diagnosis   I’ll never forget the moment I was told my baby had Down syndrome. I was sitting next to her incubator in the hospital, holding on to her heel. I remember being pleased because her eyes were open. She stared intently into mine. The doctor spoke and the words ‘Down syndrome’ crashed over me. Suddenly I was alone without a buoy, paddling like crazy in a choppy, new ocean. When a parent first…