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Flying Easter eggs? Being a "normal" family

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I’ve always thought it was important for families to continue to live your lives as normal as possible when a child is born, even if you have a special needs child.

You should still be able to enjoy family outings and restaurants and vacations.

What I’ve learned, however, is that you sometimes might have to adjust your lifestyle a bit, depending on your child. In my case, my son has Down Syndrome.

Not all children are alike, and not all Down Syndrome children are alike. But sometimes there are similar traits or conditions that will present themselves in a child.

For instance, when my son was a little younger, he had a dangerous habit of throwing objects across the room. One Easter, my loving and very patient extended family got to witness Easter eggs thrown through the air in my niece’s living room. Thankfully, some even joined in, making it more fun than a distraction.

This throwing habit took a lot of work to correct, and I’m happy to say, it is much safer in our houses now.

He also has never liked loud sounds. We still can’t take him to a movie or he will start crying. He also doesn’t like dark places. So, we can’t yet go to movie theaters as a family. However, what we have done is take turns. Or, this weekend, we saw a movie on the RedHawks Field in Bricktown during a family movie night.

Eating out is also sometimes a challenge. He used to want to knock everything — drinks, food, utensils – off the table. It was as if it were an impulse he had. Now, we make sure to clear all those fancy salt and pepper racks, menus and candles from his area, so he’s not tempted.

Families with children always have to make choices, whether one activity is suitable for their circumstances. But it was important to me to at least try to continue introducing new and regular experiences.

What I’ve also realized is that, due to our family’s special circumstances, we have been able to grow and experience new situations we might have missed otherwise.

– Linda Lynn

LLynn@opubco.com

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Linda Lynn

Linda Lynn was born and raised in rural Oklahoma. A graduate of Purcell High School, Lynn began working at The Oklahoman in 1987 as a reporter after earning a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She has served as both a... Read more ›

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