Saturday, April 5, 2008

Payton is a Young Athlete

When Payton was born, Kyle and I were sitting in my hospital room with my sister, Kristie, discussing the news we had been given. We were googling Down syndrome on the internet and then Kyle googled the Special Olympics. I think our conversation went something like this ...

Kyle: Payton is going to be the best bocce ball player in the Special Olympics!
Me: No, she is going to be the prettiest cheerleader in the Special Olympics!

We continued on with our conversation, joking Kyle for picking such a random sport like bocce ball. This moment in time was so uplifting for us, because we realized that our daughter would be able to do things that "typical" children do ... play sports, cheerlead, whatever.

Fast forward over two years, Payton is now a Special Olympics Young Athlete. Historically, children were not allowed to participate in Special Olympics until they were eight years old. That was sort of disheartening for parents who had younger children ... were we just supposed to wait to get them involved until they were eight? Thus the Young Athlete program was born, specifically tailored for kids age two through seven.

We have been attending an hour long class every Sunday for the past few weeks. Essentially it is an organized play group for kids with special needs. They have obstacle courses for the kids to navigate, a parachute to play with, we sing songs and sign along with them (as best we can...LOL), etc. It has been really fun for Payton to have this time for herself with either Kyle or I tagging along.

Stepping over the hurdle ... "I can do this!"

Walking the beam ... "This is so easy, I can do this with my hand in my pocket!"

Shaking the parachute ... at least she was outside the parachute in this picture, because most of the time she was trying to run under it!

Rolling the big ball between the cones ... "This thing is bigger than me!"


  1. that's so cool. I wonder if they have that in my area? I'm going to have to research it.

  2. Wow! I have to see if they have this in our area, too!

    Payton is just adorable in her little track suit & pigtails!

  3. Payton has to be one of the cutest little athletes ever!

  4. She is just too cute Bethany! They didn't have that for Kallie. I really need to get her involved in Special Olympics though.

  5. She makes the balance beam look so easy--with her hand in her pocket.

  6. So cute!! She looks like quite the natural athlete!!