Best of All – Lossie & Thomas

“Good, Better, Best!

Never Let It Rest!

Until Your Good Is Better,

And Your Better Is Best!”               

               Author Unknown

While there are a few sources of this quote, I love it and subscribe to it because it is one of the guiding principles under which I was raised and continue to live by. My Father taught it to me and my siblings and carried it over to the churches he pastored and every opportunity he seized. In fact, one of the resources  GiGi’s has incorporated in their approach to supporting participants at all age levels at the Playhouse, is the methodology of “Best of All.”

My point is this – as parents, caregivers, advocates, etc., I believe that most of us want what’s Best… the Best of All, for ALL our loved ones! 

As I reflect on our family’s journey in advocacy to support Thomas’s special needs, the goal has always been and continues to be achieving what’s best for him. Sometimes it means “prioritizing and/or picking through the battles” to get a desired outcome. However, the bottom line is WE NEVER GIVE UP! I recall one of our battles involved mediation to get support (recommended by school’s OT), that would improve Thomas’s ability to grip – particularly, pencils. I thought how ridiculous, but we proceeded anyhow! Thomas’s developmental delays resulted in him having impairments in muscle tone, fine and gross motor skills. The outcome of this case was more than successful! Favorably, Thomas’s IEP was amended during the mediation per legal advisement and our school district was required to provide all of the necessary services and supports requested. (Hallelujah!) I hope and pray that situations/challenges like this are rare today. Thomas’s case happened in a time period when science, technology and best practices of educating “differently-abled’ individuals in public schools was still budding/evolving – the law was barely being followed in some school districts though enacted in 1975, and our case was over a decade later! 

Our family has been a part of GiGi’s since December, 2017. And we are very grateful for purposeful organizations and programs consistent with supporting “a voice for ALL, changing the way the world views not only Down syndrome, but ALL individuals who are differently-abled, and are/can be productive and contributing citizens in societies of the WORLD!

Finally, as we celebrate “Black History Month,” let us remember and give tribute to the sacrifices and journeys made by others to pave the way from the past to the present; from the present to the future, in all areas of our lives hoping for the Best! From Culture to Culture and from Generation to Generation, let’s STRIVE FOR THE “BEST” and DO IT TOGETHER! UNITED WE STAND – DIVIDED WE FALL –  AMEN!

Written by: Lossie Smalls-Webb

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