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gillian marchenko

Author and Speaker

Archive for the ‘Down syndrome’ Category

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 gillianmarchenko.com 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…

Letting go of self-sabotage

Letting go of self-sabotage on the special needs journey It took Polly, who was born with Down syndrome, a long time to walk. When she was around two and a half years old, her physical therapist loaned us a stander; this wooden contraption that looked like it may have been used for torture at some point in the past, designed to strap kids in while standing upright to build muscle mass, you know, the stuff that is critical for one to stand and walk. Because…