270 Chapters
Medium 9781574411904

Chapter 27: Nick—Down Syndrome

Naomi Scott University of North Texas Press PDF

Chapter Twenty-Seven

Nick—Down Syndrome

At a Special Olympics horse show, thirteen-year-old Nick Hogan, a veteran of many years in the saddle, walked around eating a bag of French fries and visiting folks along the shedrow. Several people teasingly asked him for one of his fries, and he would turn away, protecting his snack. As he walked up to me, he fished out a long, shiny fry, dripping with catsup, and extended it toward me. Nick is somewhat limited in his verbal skills, but smiling, he offered the token. His mother, Sandy Hogan, laughed.

“You should feel honored. He doesn’t share his fries with just anyone.”

Well, I absolutely did. I took that piece of potato from him and ate it, trying not to imagine where his fingers might have been as he played around the horse barn.

Nick has Down Syndrome and a spunky, compelling personality that gets him a lot of hugs—and sometimes, sent to “time out.” Horseback riding is his primary source of exercise, socializing, and self-esteem, while it also helps to teach him communication skills and discipline.

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PART II From Peace to War

Arbinger Institute, The Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

“Did you hear that, Carol?” Lou said, chasing after her out to the parking lot. “That girl, Jenny—you know, the one who was yelling and carrying on this morning—she took off running.”


“Here, out in the streets. She just took off running across town.”

Carol stopped. “Oh, how terrible,” she said, looking up the street. “Poor girl. She wasn’t wearing any shoes. Do you think we should try to find her?”

“I’m sure Yusuf and his team are handling it,” he said.

Before now, Carol would have thought this a sarcastic dig, but she thought she heard a hint of respect in Lou’s voice.

Lou glanced at his watch. “Listen, Carol, I have to make some calls.”


“Yes. The situation at the office is kind of a mess. I have to check in with a couple of people.”

“Can’t you do that later?”

“They’ll probably be gone home by the time we’re out this evening. I’m going to have to call now.”

“You never worried about calling them at home on Friday nights before,” she said, coyly. “Why now?”

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Medium 9781576754801


Vargas, Roberto Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

The most powerful tools to advance the well-being of our relationships, families, and communities are our love and the vision we develop of what is possible. We can create relationships of powerful mutual support. We can transform family life from complacent disconnection to purposeful enthusiasm that inspires change. We can develop communities to become a movement for cultural transformation and corporate accountability.

The prior chapters spoke to the philosophy of family activism, key definitions, guiding principles, and the commitments that comprise the Familia Approach. Before I present the actual tools involved in my approach to family activism, I want to introduce a vision of possibility by sharing the story of how family activism contributed to the transformation of my family. Not that we have become a model of the ultimate caring family, yet we were able to move from a state of dysfunction to become a true familia, taking good care of each other while contributing much love to our multiple communities.

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Medium 9781576754801


Vargas, Roberto Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

By applying the Familia Approach, we can all increase our ability to create positive influence in the world. We can facilitate experiences that foster joy and love within our families, while nurturing values that make us more caring people ready to serve our communities. We can create beloved and empowered community with family and friends who support each other as we pursue the evolution of our culture and the betterment of society. We can do all this when we have a clear vision, and believe in ourselves and our strategy.

Earlier, I described how multiple actions are often necessary to achieve our desired outcomes. Our vision of a better society actually involves a constellation of desired outcomes that begins with more empowered and caring individuals and families, who in turn can influence positive change among their communities and beyond. The effort we invest in our family networks is but one of the influences required to actualize this larger vision, which ultimately must involve hundreds of thousands of families participating in community service and action. Yet it is essential that we fully recognize that what we do in our family networks can lead to other activist actions, and this is even more possible when we have in mind what those other actions look like.

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Medium 9781605093482

Chapter Two The Bedtime Waltz: Establishing a Bedtime Routine

Blanchard, Ken Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE NEXT MORNING at SeaWorld, the staff and the three trainees gathered at poolside for a demonstration by Clint Jordan, the park curator and head trainer. He began with a warm greeting to the three newcomers. “The staff and I want you to know you are very welcome in our training program.” Cheers and whistles broke out from the group of trainers. “Each of you,” Clint went on, “has survived a rigorous interview and background-checking process to ensure that you are in the right place. I needn’t tell you that you are entering into a job that many people would love to have. In the entire world, only a handful get this opportunity. In fact, there are more astronauts than killer whale trainers.

“Let’s talk about safety,” said Clint. “There is an element of risk in working with these animals, especially with new people they don’t know. Killer whales are the top predators in the ocean. Adult whales can reach lengths of eighteen to twenty-three feet and weigh up to twelve thousand pounds. We have guidelines and emergency procedures in case someone were to jump or fall into the pool with the whales. In our shows we have safety guidelines for the public and for our training staff. It’s imperative that you follow instructions carefully as you get to know these animals.

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