Our son, Parker Thomas Sonneveldt, is eight years old. He also is a child who has special needs. He was born with an extra chromosome; this caused him to be mentally slow and he has certain characteristics that are hallmarks of the syndrome: slanted eyes, a round, moon face, a rather large tongue that seems too big for his mouth, stubby fingers and toes, and a roundish build.
Yet unlike a lot of kids who have Down's syndrome, Parker does not have heart issues. His heart is healthy; every checkup he's had, every EKG test he's had to go through have proven this fact. Doctors are amazed at just how healthy he really is.
It is nothing short of a miracle.
Parker is in special needs classes at his school. He loves his teachers and his friends; he has many friends at his school. He is learning how to read, write, spell. He is quite smart; we are all very proud of his accomplishments.
Parker is a typical kid, even with his mental handicaps: he loves to swing on the swingset in our backyard, roughhouse with his brothers Peter, Piers, and Hans, and his sisters Inge and Annke, and watch television; his favorite show is "American Idol". He loves to sing, pretend that he is a contestant on "AI"; he hopes to be on that show one day, singing in front of a national audience of over 60 million people.
It doesn't matter that he is disabled: he still wants to try out for the show. We know he is too young, but we still try to keep his dream alive. He's sung at several talent shows at school; he always draws a huge round of applause; he is very popular--and he usually wins.
Parker loves rock and roll music, also country: his favorite singers are Clay Aiken, Ruben Studdard, and Kelly Clarkson. In country, he likes Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Brad Paisley, Garth Brooks. He wants to be just like them, so he sings--all the time!
When he isn't singing we know that either he's a.) unhappy, or b.) sick. That's when we worry about him; most of the time he's happy singing his favorite songs over and over into his pretend microphone, and he doesn't care if he's at school, home, or at church. He just loves singing, period!
Well, I will let you go now. Time to get the kiddoes into bed. School tomorrow. I will write more about Parker and our other children at a future time; take care and God bless!
~Love, Rose Anne Sonneveldt, Parker's mamma. :)