My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Does Counting Coins Matter?

by Joyce...It has been a while since we have done a keeping it real post. The following video did not start out with this purpose.  I started taping simply to post when we talked about counting the money Sarah was collecting in the store for Katie, an adorable girl who is being adopted by the Simpson family.  I'll let you watch it now...

I used to have Sarah count coins in the store on a regular basis. Then we started getting too busy to have that be an every day activity.  As the camera started rolling on this day, I was stunned that Sarah was having trouble counting to ten.  She has never mastered the value of money.  Yet counting to ten used to be a simple task for her.  I will admit I was startled by this discovery.  My mind of course started going into overdrive.  Was this a sign of a larger problem?  Possibly another reminder that early Alzheimer's is something I need to be concerned with.  For the next few days, I raised that antenna higher than it had been.  I found many different opportunities for her to count things for me. The pattern was consistent.  Sometimes she was able to count to ten, sometimes not. 

Then very late one night, I ran into the grocery store.  Off to the side of the entryway stood three college age guys and an older gentleman.  At first I wondered if something had happened. I peered onto the floor to see if someone had fallen.  Seeing no one, yet being awfully nosey, I pulled my cart a tad closer in their direction.  It appeared they were all waiting for the big green cash machine.  So I went about my business of shopping.  As I was leaving the store, I noticed a woman at the same machine.  It was then I had one of those ahhhaa moments.  Why does Sarah need to count the coins?  She can bring the jars over here, dump them into the cash machine like all the folks I had observed.

Is this a good solution?  Am I giving up too soon?   Does counting coins even matter?  I'm not sure.  I do know we found the perfect solution for the task at hand.  In all, Sarah dumped nearly $500 into that machine over the past few weeks.  All to help bring a sweet blond haired girl home who's been living in an orphanage. And that does matter.


Kim said...

Oh it matters! The money you and Sarah have raised can do so many things for Katie - I could list here all of the things $541 can pay for, such as meals while we're in country or her passport and Visa or transportation costs while we visit her in her baby home, or our passports, or all of our many medical exams . . . I could go on and on. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Both for raising money, but more for raising awareness. You and Sarah will help many more children than our Katie, simply by sharing your lives and your hearts. XO


Mommyto3 said...

Amen. Think we have to see the bigger picture and teach them to adapt. I was just talking to my husband this morning about things that were brought up that Sarah can not do that she needs to do for kindergarten. They can not see the bigger picture of her being with her peers and learning the social they just see what is on their golden paper.

Amy L said...

Jimmy doesn't count coins either. He can count dollars and knows the coins values but isn't able to count them. It is a very difficult skill to teach.:(

The VW's said...

Great job Sarah! You are doing such a wonderful thing for a precious child! Keep up the great job! I loved watching the video! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Heather Stewart Seal I love her sweet southern accent as she counts the coins.

Donna Bourdet
I really enjoyed the video. Sarah reminds me a lot of my Laurie. Especially the part when she gets a bit frustrated and pushed all the coins back and starts all over! That is so Laurie. My daughter is very OCD about certain things. She must line up her pens, chapsticks, magazines etc. in specific ways before bed. If one thing is out of line, it all starts all over! Drives me a bit up the wall at times, until I remember, this is Laurie, just her way of doing things. About the counting. Laurie did so well with certain academic things, reading, math etc while in school. Now that she has been out of school for over 10 yrs and in an adult program those academic skills have faded quite a bit. At least the math! I got her a debit card which I keep just enough balance in for her when she shops with her group or if we are out shopping or going to lunch and she wants to pay for things. It really helps with the math/money issue. Thanks so much for sharing. Sarah is just so adorable. ♥

Michelle Gonzalez Oh yes! Nice.

Kim Roche Simpson I love this Joyce. So much. Even if it did make me get teary first thing in the morning. :)

Robyn Day Schueler Thanks, I really needed this bigger picture this morning. Fighting with the school system again and feel totally beaten down. My Sarah will be ok. Thanks for showing me this.

Melissa Stoltz This is really interesting Joyce! I've been thinking a lot lately about how there is a push for kids to meet every milestone and expected to conform to a certain set of skills...I am glad to have a perspective on this that comes from the mom of an adult. Thanks!

Susan Simmons I think the most important lesson is to try to teach them to get along with others and to be understanding. Depending on Kayla's mood, most of the time when shopping if she see's someone in a wheelchair she will go up and tell them Hi, what's your name and try to shake there hand. There's kids in her class that are in wheelchairs and she loves them so much!

Rochelle said...

Thanks for keeping it real Joyce! I think adapting her skills is fabulous.

Laurie West said...

Joyce, I think you need to speak to some education groups. You have showed us so much over the years on this blog that is so useful in real life. It might also be beneficial at a Down syndrome convention.

Jaida said...

I think about this a lot. My son is 5 now, so I believe there is a real likelihood that his dealings with cash will be minimal. I suppose it's possible that he could end up with a job where he cashiers, but I think that's unlikely for a number of reasons.

I think we do have to keep a handle on what skills are ACTUALLY important. I am sure that the educational system does not update curriculum based on developments in society and technology nearly often enough.

Like many children with Ds, writing is very challenging for my son. However, he's a whiz on the iPad and can use a computer competently...I know he has to learn to write but it feels like it may be of minimal use in the not too far distant future.

It's really hard to walk the fine line between challenging our kids to learn and do as much as they can for themselves and limiting the amount of pointless frustration they experience.

Lynette @ My Craft Discovery said...

I think what you've done with Sarah is excellent! You've given her lots of opportunities to practice, and you have tried to teach her counting coins, but you've found something that will work for her. I see it as assistive technology, and the best part about this one is that it's something that anybody can use so it doesn't isolate her in any way. I love reading your blog.