T21Mom – Episode 19 : Building Your Tribe

Mary and Ron discuss the need to build a group of friends and family for emotional support.

T21Mom – Episode 18 : Surviving the IEP – Individualized Education Plan

Mary talks about her experiences with creating an Individualized Education Plan for Ainsley and the struggle of getting the school to play a positive role in the process.

Link to the One Pager

T21Mom – Episode 17 : Katie Rinald – Potty Training

Mary talks with Katie Rinald of Blackbird Special Education about her approach to intensive potty training.

Blackbird Special Education   http://blackbirdse.com Katie@blackbirdse.com

Chummie Alarms     https://chummiebedwettingalarm.com/

T21Mom – Episode 16 : Jen Ghioda – Early Intervention Support Worker

Mary talks with Jen Ghioda, an Early Intervention Support Worker, about her role in finding and securing resources for families of children with DS.




1.  Down syndrome-specific setting event strategies

  2.  Environment-specific setting event strategies

  3.  Effective requests

  4.  Offering choices

  5.  Visual supports for behavioural expectations and predictability

  6.  Incorporating preferences

  7.  Safety signals

  8.  Functional communication training

  9.  Positive reinforcement of desired behaviour via praise and other rewards

  10. Actively ignore and positively redirect minor problem behaviour

Here is the article Susan talked about:

Patel, L., Wolter-Warmerdam, K., Leifer, N., & Hickey, F. (2018). Behavioral characteristics of individuals with Down syndrome. Journal of Mental Health Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 11(3), 221-246.

Google scholar link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19315864.2018.1481473

T21Mom Special Presentation – Brian Donovan & Kelly’s Hollywood

Actor, Producer, Director, DS Advocate, and Motivational Speaker Brian Donovan has an in depth conversation with Mary and Ron about his sister Kelly. The conversation roams from Brian & Kelly’s inseparable relationship that he documents in the film “Kelly’s Hollywood”, to his advocacy work, motivational speaking, and growing up in a very special neighbourhood in the ‘60s and ‘70s

Brian Donovan Web  http://www.briandonovan.org/

Kelly’s Hollywood  http://kellyshollywood.com/Welcome.html

Brian Donovan – You Can Change The World   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj9TkAwc6-0

T21Mom – Episode 13 : Jen Jacob of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network

Mary talks with Jen Jacob, Founder of the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network, about their work with health care professionals so they better understand Down syndrome, and issues such as the impact of delivering the diagnosis. They also talk about the increasing success of the Rockin’ Mom’s Retreat.


T21Mom – Episode 12 : Talking Translocation with Jenna

Mary talks with Jenna about a form of Down syndrome called Translocation that can be inherited under certain circumstances. It’s a fascinating and easy to understand look at the genetics of Down syndrome.

T21Mom – Episode 11 : Cally Wesson of Variety The Children’s Charity BC

Mary has a wide ranging discussion with Cally Wesson, CEO of British Columbia’s chapter of Variety The Children’s Charity. Cally explains the history of Variety, services that they provide, volunteers, and events they put on, including the annual Show Of Hearts Telethon. Recorded on location at the Variety offices in Burnaby B.C.



T21Mom – Episode 9: Understanding Occupational Therapy with Hina

T21Mom – Episode 9 : Hina, the Down Syndrome Resource Foundation’s Occupational Therapist joins us for a conversation about how children with Down syndrome can learn to understand and control their body’s movements, and why the term “Occupational” is a bit of a misnomer.

Understanding Sensory Processing  – https://www.spdstar.org/basic/understanding-sensory-processing-disorder

Developmental Progression Pyramid – (the pyramid is included in these presentation notes that can be found on the DSRF website) https://www.dsrf.org/media/Lille%20Ryan%20and%20Hina%20Mahmood%20Increasing%20Independence%20in%20School%20Aged%20Children%20with%20DS%20FINAL.pdf

When to Consult an OT – Document that outlines what types of skills OTs can work on with kids. http://www.dsrf.org/media/When%20to%20consult%20an%20OT.pdf