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What Aubrie Wants Parents to Know

Aubrie Westmaas is a 20-year-old student enjoying a busy life as an active member of her community. She is the Co-Founder and Director of Outreach of Expect ExtraOrdinary, Inc. As a student in the Transitional Living Program at Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, Aubrie has the opportunity to grow in her adult independence. Despite a long list of challenges related to Kabuki syndrome, Aubrie is determined to enjoy the same opportunities and experiences as her peers. She has been fully included in her neighborhood school for all of her educational career except 2 years when she chose to commute daily to the nearby Illinois School for the Deaf. Aubrie has been an advocate as long as she can remember. She once visited the state capitol and sat at the governor's desk. She's attended statewide conferences, rallies at the capitol, and met Temple Grandin. You can read more of Aubrie's impressive bio here.

This post is reprinted with permission from

We Need a Summer

As people with disabilities, we want to have a good time. Sometimes that means taking a break from therapies.  We need to have a fun summer like our friends and our classmates.      Having a good time could mean many things. Sometimes therapy could be a good time depending on what is happening. That could also mean watching a sibling play a sport. Every once in a while we are the people playing the game competitively. Some people like to go to movies or shows.  Doing a show for family and friends can also be considered fun for some kids.      Some of us have therapies all day long depending on the child. Two hours of speech, then comes the break, 1 hour of OT, 1 and a half hours of Sensory Integration. I think my day is over.  Oh, yea I forgot I also have 2 hours of PT.  That is 4 hours and thirty minutes.  If you can get rid of therapies that would make for an awesome summer.      Our summer could be going to the park for Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Sensory Integration. You can go to the zoo to learn about animals and possibly touch them. You can go to the beach for sensory and play in the water. You can go to Disney or a fun theme park so that your kid does not feel left out when people explain what they did over the summer.     People with disabilities want to have fun. Sometimes that means taking a break from therapies.  We need to have a fun summer like our friends and our classmates. 

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