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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 and Algernon

posted Thursday February 2nd, 2017

  I got an earful from the social studies teacher today at parent/teacher conferences. Apparently Sophie has had a crush on House Speaker Paul Ryan since the fall, which causes her great consternation as she tries to juggle his appearance (good) with his politics (bad), I was told. Today, when the social studies teacher announced […]


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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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“I have Down syndrome,” she Snapchatted the boy.

posted Wednesday September 28th, 2016

Sophie and I got our nails done on Saturday. Hers never take as long as mine so after she’d finished, she parked herself at the front desk of the salon and flirted with the young man who books appointments; he helped her download Pokemon Go and they exchanged Snapchat handles. As we walked to Trader […]


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Would Someone Please Sit with My Kid at Lunch?

posted Tuesday September 20th, 2016

The other night in the Target girls’ section, I noticed a campaign aimed at kindness. Tee shirts with sayings like “Come Sit With Us” and “Kind is Cool.” I smirked. If only it was that easy. In my world — rather, in my daughter Sophie’s world — too often it’s Homecoming Queen or nothing. This […]


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Why Can’t I Be You?

posted Monday August 29th, 2016

Years ago, as elementary school came to a close, Ray warned that Sophie’s Salad Days were ending, too. I completely agreed. Gone, soon, would be carefree days of feeling accepted, of being fully included. That was more than two years ago, and I’m still waiting — against all odds, I’m pretty sure — for the […]


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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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My-Heart-Cant-Even-Believe-It-Cover
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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