About

Welcome to Down Syndrome With a Slice of Autism….

This blog is all about Nicks world….The rest of us are just trying to keep up.  Each post will contain information, musings and rants about my life with Nick who is 23 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  Topics are related to everything under the umbrella of special needs.  The information is provided for parents, teachers, caregivers, therapists, and anyone touched by a child having special needs.

Categories include:

Autism

Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC)

Adult Day Programs

Safety/Wandering

Behavior/ABA

Down syndrome

Dual Diagnosis Down syndrome and autism

Doctors and Dentists

Down syndrome Awareness

Education/IEP’s

Feeding/Hygiene

Government funding and legal issues

Health Issues and Down Syndrome

Parenting and Special Needs

Special Needs Resources

Special Needs Parenting

Therapies (OT, Speech, and PT)

Toileting

Recreation/Leisure

Tech/AAC (communication devices)

The Fun Side of Nick

Teresa is the mother of two boys and lives in the Chicago area along with her husband. Her youngest son, Nick is 23 years old and a graduate of Metea Valley High School. Nick has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. She is currently writing a memoir about raising Nick which is near completion. She has published articles and book reviews related to the special needs population.  Teresa is a speaker and advocate in the community and a frequent guest lecturer at Aurora University and Northern Illinois University.  She is a Dual Diagnosis Specialist and Consultant, for the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, offering expertise on dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism.

In addition, Teresa has worked in the fitness field teaching for over 30 years.  Her hope is to reach out to families and the community to show the real story of what it is like inside the trenches of every aspect of having a child with many special needs.

Linked InTeresa Unnerstall: tjunnerstall@comcast.net

Nick is a spirited young man with an infectious smile, who loves life. He graduated from high school.  After high school Nick attended an adult transition program to work on vocational skills along with having jobs both at the campus and in the community.  Currently, he attends an adult day program which provides a wide range of skill development, vocational opportunities, and community trips.

While his speech is limited and there are cognitive delays, he offers much to those in his world.  If anything, he keeps the teaching staff, respite workers and family on point with his quick reflexes. You see, besides school, work, music, movies, swimming, Taco Bell and McDonalds he has a passion for pulling fire alarms. Nick has taught the world many things such as patience, compassion, humor and to make sure you scout the area for those fire alarms….otherwise he will beat you to it! That’s Nick’s world, the rest of us are just trying to keep up.

Big Guy Nick riding in the fire truck at the Outer Banks, in Duck, NC.

So, how many fire alarms has Nick pulled?

counter

 CURRENT FIRE ALARM PULL COUNT=45!!!!!!!!

E-mail address: tjunnerstall@comcast.net

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Linked InTeresa Unnerstall

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7 thoughts on “About

  1. Is there a way to subscribe to this blog or does it have a FB link? Very good blog. Would you mind emaling me the info ? thank you very much

    1. At the top of the page on the gray bar there is a place on the left side to click on and follow. Let me know if this doesn’t send you an alert. I think that should do it. Thank you for reading 🙂

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your life!!!!!!!! I have 3 sons- one severely Autistic+ADHD, one very high functioning+gifted autistic, and one just a regular kid (well as much as he can be growing up in our households). Kendra turned me on to your site, I haven’t had a chance to read all of it yet, but especially loved the ‘Brotherly Love’
    Thanks again
    -Nikki P. in Pleasanton

  3. Teresa, I so enjoy reading your posts. You are an inspiration to me. My son, Ian age 6, diagnosed DS-ASD greets every day with a big infectious smile. I am very thankful to happen upon your blog.

    1. Those smiles are the best (and make up for all the other things we deal with our kids) don’t they? Thanks for reading and let me know if you have anything you’d like to know more about. Keep in touch! 🙂

  4. I love your blog – thank you so so so much for sharing your life with Nick! My little guy Dale is 15. He also has Down syndrome and autism, along with a host of other health problems. He is nonverbal, but with the help of aba and a behavior specialist, is finally communicating with a picture system. He is doing great now, and I love that every day is a new adventure for him!

    Nick is so beautiful – he and Dale look a lot alike!

    It is so great to connect with other families out there. It really helps me when things get a little wild around here :-).

    Have a great day!

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