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gillian marchenko

Author and Speaker

Archive for the ‘Special Needs’ 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…

Special needs and guilt management

Guilt management and special needs

Special needs and guilt management Guilt management and special needs – hard, hard, hard, hard, hard topic. For most parents, guilt is a big part of their lives anyway. But for a lot of moms and dads who have children with special needs, it can be immobilizing. I’m one of those parents. I have two kids with Down syndrome and I struggle with guilt all the time. Am I doing enough for them? Are there other therapies I don’t know about? Why does that mom…

What about us? A sibling to kids with disabilities shares her needs

girls1

  Please help me welcome my beautiful (almost 15 year old) daughter Elaina as she writes about her experience with having siblings with disabilities. Great job, Elaina! I love you!   What about us? A sibling to kids with disabilities shares her needs By Elaina Marchenko Today, my sister Zoya and I watched Polly and Evie, our two little sisters with disabilities, while my mom went out for a haircut. It being summer we do watch our sisters more often, but we don’t really mind….

Church: 5 reasons why you must minister to families affected by special needs

You must minister to families affected by special needs

Church: 5 reasons why you must minister to families affected by special needs This last weekend, I got to speak to a church about special needs ministry. It was such a valuable time for them and for me, I thought I’d share some key thoughts. Here are 5 reasons why you must minister to families affected by special needs… 1. It’s in the Bible 2 Samuel 9: David and Mephibosheth. David took in his friend Jonathan’s son who had special needs and brought him to eat…

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…