Beckley Buddy Walk 2016


Planning is underway for another great day together for Beckley Buddy Walk 4!

We hope that you will be able to join us for a great day Celebrating the acceptance and inclusion of persons with Down Syndrome as well as all other challenges!  Look how far we have come!

If you would like to join us or become a sponsor make sure to visit our  Walk portal for all the information!

Pokémon Go! It can be a tool…and family fun.

I recently had a conversation with a member of our group about how to try and get their child to be more active.  I agree it can be a challenge. Kids who have routine and structure already in place can find it frustrating to add in more physical activity.
So how do we do it?   I immediately suggested Pokémon Go!

Lets think about this – The structure of a game like Pokémon Go! is physical activity.  Rather than a sedentary game, this one encourages you to walk and find those pesky little creatures!  You can play as a family and get exercise all at once.

Before you write it off as a kids game or a fad. Look at  it as an opportunity.  never hurts to try right?   And before you run to a judgement, I am not the only one with this opportunistic mindset.   Here is an Article from”The Friendship Blog.”  And although you might see it titled “3 Benefits of Playing Pokémon Go for Individuals with Autism,” remember that no matter the diagnosis we are more alike than different. It’s worth considering.  Lets go Find them ALL!

LR  – ##


3 Benefits of Playing Pokémon Go for Individuals with Autism

Pokémon Go is a free location-based app developed by Niantic for both iOS and Android devices. It encourages users to explore their environment by using augmented reality while simultaneously trying to capture as many Pokémon as possible. The main display for the game is a map based on your surroundings that showcases PokéStops which are created by using landmarks in the community. This can be anything from a specific building to an outdoor public art exhibit. Users will be able to locate and correlate the Pokémon to the environment they’ll most likely be found in. For example, if a user is exploring a grassy area it will give them a better chance of capturing a Pokémon that lives in that kind of habitat.

Over time, users can build and grow their gaming abilities by learning how to navigate and prepare for their next exploration. The game rewards users with medals for different accomplishments including distance traveled, Pokémon caught, and more! Parents of children with Autism are loving what doors the game is opening up socially for their children.

Pokémon Go

Let’s explore a few of the reported benefits to using the app:

1 | Social Benefits

Stories are popping up all over from parents whose children with special needs are using the game as a way to interact and connect with others. The game encourages interaction by bringing users together at common areas to capture Pokémon. So, users have a shared interest and are more likely to interact with each other while trying to catch the Pokémon. Kids who would usually steer clear from large crowds and/or social interaction are being brought right in the middle of it in a fun and engaging way. They’re building confidence as they explore the world around them, even psychologists and autism experts are raving about the social benefits of using the game.

2 | Routine Flexibility

Individuals who would otherwise not be compelled to leave the confines of their prefered environment are given a reason to do so. Parents are loving the change in routine for their children who might have originally prefered to stay inside, but are now are wanting to get out and engage with the environment around them.

3 | Bonding Opportunity

Some parents are finding that Pokémon Go has been an incredible bonding opportunity with their children. Since supervision is recommended, it’s a great way to get outside and get moving, all while doing something together that can strengthen that relationship.

And while the craze may seem a bit confusing and even dangerous to some, the benefits are clear. It’s helping kids with Autism socialize, strengthen relationships, and explore their surroundings in a fun and engaging way. As a reminder, it’s important to practice and communicate safety concerns with children prior to playing the game. Make sure your child is supervised while exploring (go catch Pokémon with them), and go over safety rules with your child or child’s caregiver before they step out the door to explore.

What are your thoughts?

Sensory Friendly Films Program- Finding Dory

Bring the entire Family! Everyone is welcome!  BRING DAD! 

Sensory Friendly Film Program June 18th @ 11am
The Galleria 14 in Beckley and “Down with That” – invite families to enjoy FINDING DORY   in a safe and accepting environment with the “Sensory Friendly Films” program.  June 18th @ 11am

Matinee pricing applies. Headphones and apparatus accommodations available upon request.

In order to provide a more accepting and comfortable setting for this unique audience, the movie auditoriums will have their lights brought up and the sound turned down, families

will be able to bring in their own gluten-free, casein-free snacks, and no previews or advertisements will be shown before the movie. Additionally, audience members are welcome to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing along- unless the safety of the audience is questioned.


All ages welcome!


Happy World Down Syndrome Day!


Today is World Down Syndrome Day.
As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome the last 5 years has been a journey of learning.  The one thing that I can say that we have learned more than anything is that we should give her every opportunity.  She always “Exceeds Expectations.”
She is a talented little thing with a will and determination that will not stop.
When we began this journey, we were lost. Then, we met other parents, made friends along the way, and found that we were not alone.  Supporting one another, encouraging and living by example, they have shown us that our blessings can be anything, do anything, and achieve anything.
As we celebrate this World Down Syndrome Day, we ask that you go the extra mile for someone today in celebration of those with the extra chromosome.  Pay it forward and share your gift. whatever it might be.  Even a smile can change the world for someone.  It sure has for us.

Celebrate the ABILITY!