By Cindi Rogers
When our family began our journey in the Fragile X world in 1991, I could not say that I had a lot of hope for our two boys’ future.
Everything was so full of uncertainty. Questions surrounded our family’s life and what the future would hold. If I had completely given into doubt, I would have lost momentum toward attaining any kind of hope.
Through the years, I did see little glimmers of hopeful things, especially through the other children my sons went to school with. These “other kids” were at first one of my main worries as we approached the much-anticipated day that our boys would start kindergarten. I kept remembering when I was a kid, and how cruel we all were. “Take no prisoners,” I thought. Well, was I pleasantly surprised!
Both my boys have enjoyed amazing relationships with friends — both on a large and small scale — during their school years. The kids themselves embraced Jake and Joe — it was their parents I found to be more challenging. My boys both had experiences with an integrated classroom where peer modeling was a practice. This allowed other kids to get to know them, and vice versa.
As they approached high school, both boys had the opportunity to join a unified basketball team through Columbine High School (yes, the same one . . . in Littleton, Colorado). Even though this program was new to the school, many kids embraced the chance to work with special needs kids to help them be successful. Learning how to take turns, learning how to listen to the coach, and learning when it was their turn to be on the court, were just a few of the lessons Jake and Joe attained during their first year of playing. And there really was no focus on making a basket!