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gillian marchenko

Author and Speaker

Archive for the ‘Down syndrome’ Category

10 things teachers should know about Down syndrome

about Down syndrome

10 things teachers should know about Down syndrome It’s that time of year again. Backpacks are bought. New tennis shoes are donned. Back to school. It’s also time to educate our teachers on what they should know about Down syndrome. I have two girls with Down syndrome. Polly is going into 2nd grade, fully included with an aid, and Evangeline is going into 1st grade in a special education school. When a parent asks me how to find a good school for their child with Down…

Struggle with Depression during the Holidays

Struggle with depression

 Struggle with depression… Tis the season Struggle with depression. Tis the season, fa la la la la, la, la, la, la. 1 out of 4 people in America struggle with depression or some kind of mental illness. There are also people who deal with chronic pain, grief, post traumatic stress, and probably too many other things to list here that are often greatly enhanced throughout the holidays. I have major depressive disorder… (I know, shocker. I never talk about this… and just so you know,…

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month – Get Involved!

Evangeline Down syndrome awareness

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month – Get Involved! I love the fall, for sure. But I also love a whole month dedicated to help educate the world about my two daughters with Down syndrome, Evie and Polly, and about so many individuals living in our communities who are amazing contributors to society. My CHALLENGE to you this month is to: –Share something about Down syndrome on social media (you can lift stuff from my blog at or from my Facebook page). Here’s a quick…

Church: This is how to greet my child who is nonverbal

Nonverbal child greeting

Church: This is how to greet my child who is nonverbal Today I had the pleasure of being a guest on one of the most popular Christian shows on the radio: Midday Connection. The host Lori Neff and I talked about my story (and my book Sun Shine Down), and about the specific challenges and joys in the lives of families affected by special needs. We discussed what churches can do to support children with special needs and their parents and siblings, which got me…

World Down Syndrome Day according to Polly, an 8 year old with Down syndrome

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World Down Syndrome Day is Saturday, March 21st Did you know that Saturday (3/21) is the 10th Anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day? People all over the world are doing their part: speaking in classes, passing out brochures, posting about it on Facebook, to make sure the word gets out. People with Down syndrome are more like the rest of us than different. My daughter Polly, 8 years old, explains Down syndrome… Polly and I put together a little video to help celebrate! We’d so appreciate…