Category Archives: A to Z Blogging Challenge 2016

P is for Precious – A to Z Challenge

Guest Blog from Downs Side Up

PThe Power of a Song

I recently began thinking about a song by Depeche Mode that was on a compilation CD in my car at the time I was pregnant with Natty. Just another track, probably one I skipped over a hundred times to get to my favourite.

After her birth the very same song suddenly became full of meaning, so hugely significant it could have been written just for us. It seemed to be speaking to the family of a child who was born vulnerable and spending her early, precious, irreplaceable weeks in a Neo-Natal unit. I actually listened for the first time.

It summed up the guilt we felt at our shock after her arrival, the sorrow that cut through us as we watched her being subjected to uncomfortable procedures, the pain of the empty crib at home where she should have been sleeping, the fear that she would grow up remembering the aloneness in the incubator, that overriding feeling all parents have that they would do anything at all to make things better.

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N is for The National Anthem – A to Z Blogging Challenge

N on Blogging from A to Z

Music also helps us feel like we belong to something bigger.

Last year, 48-year-old Adam Levine sang the national anthem for the sixth year in a row at Citifield stadium, home of the Mets.

A reporter from Newsday wrote about Adam‘s connection to music:

When he was about 30, Levine’s co-workers at a fast-food restaurant near where he now lives harassed him. Levine was a busboy, and other employees put Tabasco sauce in his drinks and blocked him as he carried trays, his father said.

“He would just scream at the top of his lungs, which is just unacceptable,” said David Levine about his son’s reaction, adding that some of the workers were fired. “They apologized. But, something happened to Adam after that. He became so inward.”

Since then, music has helped Levine express himself.

Adam’s sister Amy shares  the videos over the years.

2010   2011   2012    2013     2014




Congratulations Adam!

M is for Music Therapy – A to Z Blogging Challenge

M on Blogging from A to ZMusic therapy may not be as common as some of the others we’re used to (PT, OT, and Speech) but it can be just as helpful. Most of the information online seems to be geared toward children – as we often see – but we can also approach music therapy from a lifelong learner perspective.

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L is for Laz D – A to Z Blogging Challenge

L on Blogging from A to Z

Cam Lasley has been featured on Sproutflix , has several videos on YouTube, and has recorded two albums.



From his video LAZ D – “The Man Himself” Documentary  on YouTube:

“Cam Lasley, born in 1982, first became interested in music when he played drums in the Junior High School band in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Before long he began writing his own thought provoking lyrics, as rap became his music of choice. In High School, Lasley was dubbed “Laz D” by former classmate, and current Atlanta Hawk, Salim Stoudamire, and the name has stuck. In 2005 he began writing the 14 tracks that make up the debut record “The Man Himself”, which in 2006 was produced and recorded by Jack Gibson at the D Compound. In this documentary see LAZ D celebrate the release of his first record, perform at the St. Mary’s School for Boys and entertain the residents of The Markham House where LAZ has worked for over 5 years.


Visit him on Facebook and YouTube



K is for Katy Perry ‘Roar’ Contest – A to Z Blogging Challenge

K on Blogging A to Z

In October, 2013, singer Katy Perry held a contest on Good Morning America asking high school students to submit a video to go along with her song ‘Roar.’


The five finalists were shown on GMA. Students from Verrado High School in Buckeye, Arizona filmed their video around a cheerleader who has Down syndrome, 17-year-old Megan Squire.

Verrado didn’t win the contest, but Katy Perry gave Megan “the ultimate consolation prize,” – she took her to the American Music Awards.

J is for John Tucker #BornThisWay – A to Z Blogging Challenge

J on Blogging A to Z

This year we celebrated a new docu-series about young adults who have Down syndrome. Born This Way on A&E introduced us to  talented rapper – John Tucker.


I'm here. I'm alive. I'm human.

For many reasons, I’m so glad we got to meet JT and his family.

In the final episode of season 1, we got to see his music video – “Shake Your Booty,” and during the 321 eConference, we got to meet the director of the Performing Arts Studio West where John practices his craft!

Watch John at work with the support of his family as back-up dancers!

I is for Impromptu Dancing – A to Z Blogging Challenge

I on Blogging A to ZImpromptu Dancing

If you have an extra chromosome, it might also mean that you’ve got an extra music gene too!  The natural rhythm and beat can come out quickly and sometimes when you least expect it.  Our almost 8 year old loves music just like his older brothers in high school and college.  Perhaps that help nurture and influence his taste in music.He wants to be like Mark when he must have an iPad playing music while he dances in the shower.  He mimics oldest brother Will when he is quick to tell me get the music turned up on the radio in the car and to change the station when he doesn’t like what’s playing.  He watched Luke turn music on while doing Saturday chores and learned that whistling while working makes the job go by quicker.   And Jared is definitely a Smolka Boy because he loves to dance!


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