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  Dear  Teachers, Staff, and Students: Welcome back from Fall Break! I can’t believe an entire quarter of the school year has already flown by. By now you might have met my daughter, Sophie, who is a freshman. If not, maybe you’ve seen her in the halls, at cheer tryouts, or singing at the school’s recent […]


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“We Still Run In Heart First”

posted Tuesday September 5th, 2017

  I was right. Sophie is okay. More than okay. She called me after school on Thursday — she’d learned that morning that she didn’t make the freshman cheer line — and before I could ask about that, she launched into a story about a boy she’s got a crush on. Over the weekend she […]


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Giant White Cheer Bow Free to a Good Home

posted Thursday August 31st, 2017

  Does anyone need a giant white cheer bow? This morning Sophie was ready early, waiting by the back door, yelling at me to hurry up so she could get to school and see if she made the freshman cheer line. “Now remember, you might not make it,” I said as we climbed in the car. […]


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    Sophie is trying out for freshman cheer. Sitting under the fluorescent lights of a big public high school gym for two hours yesterday afternoon, my thoughts veered wildly — from total disgust with our society for condoning (no, make that celebrating) the idea that it’s cool for girls to put on skimpy outfits and […]


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Happiness is… Jo Ann Briseno’s Napkin Art

posted Thursday November 10th, 2016

I’m not sure when I first noticed Jo Ann Briseno’s art, when we first became friends on Facebook or when I found her on Instagram. I only know that I was captivated by her drawings, so simple in black pen on white paper napkins, a near-daily love letter left in her daughter’s lunch box. I […]


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Mapping Sophie

posted Thursday October 27th, 2016

I don’t get out much — the editor’s lament — but this spring I made a point of inviting myself to artist Monica Aissa Martinez’s central Phoenix studio. She graciously agreed. I wanted to see up close how she maps people. It’s pretty literal, this mapping. The artist’s subjects aren’t exactly naked; it’s more of […]


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Dutch Treat?

posted Thursday October 6th, 2016

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month, so my Facebook feed is full of beautiful photos of kids with DS and wonderful explanations of Down syndrome. Lots of people are posting a popular short essay called “Welcome to Holland.” I’ll be honest. It’s not my favorite. Here’s why, in an excerpt from “My Heart Can’t Even […]


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We Don’t Need Another Tiny Superhero. Or Do We?

posted Wednesday July 20th, 2016

A letter landed in my e-mailbox the other day. Hi Amy! My name is Robyn Rosenberger and I’m the founder of  Tiny Superheros – a superhero cape company with a big mission to empower Extraordinary kids as they overcome illness or disability! (The attached 2 min video captures our mission!) I came across your blog awhile […]


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“Finding Dory” made me nauseous, and not just because I’m prone to seasickness. The sequel to “Finding Nemo” was widely anticipated, particularly in the special needs community. All week my friends were sharing reviews that heralded the movie for celebrating people with disabilities, beginning with Dory, the blue tang with short term memory loss. I […]


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Blanket Statement

posted Friday June 3rd, 2016

I got a Facebook message the other day from a guy I don’t know well, an artist in town. He and his wife just had their second baby, he wrote. And the baby has Down syndrome. I invited myself over. He said okay. I think I went more for me than for them. It was […]


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My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
Changing Hands Bookstore
. For information about readings and other events, click here.
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