Penny Power

By Travick’s mother, Anita Raghavan

Sing to the tune of A Few of My Favorite Things. “Physical therapy, musical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, play groups and Therapeutic Case Managers – these are a few of our favorite things baseball and swimming and horses and sprinting, summer programs and respite and egg hunts and picnics, extended school year and pizza pig outs – these are a few of our favorite things. When the doubts come, when we fall down, when the news is bad- we simply remember our favorite things and then we don’t feel so sad/TV and FM system, and Penny Power and HCBS, Assistive technology, prune juice, and sign language, friendships and summer camp and neighborhood association – these are a few of our favorite things//When we feel glum, when we feel dumb, when we’re feeling numb – we simply remember our favorite things and then we don’t feel so mad//When the tonsils had to go, when the people say ‘no,’ when we’re being slow, we simply remember our favorite things and then we just feel so glad.”

The Penny Power is Tavrick’s “job.” He is “employed” by his sister for assisting with her paper route. Tavrick is approaching life with will power and adventure. A troop of caring, exhausted and sometimes overwhelmed family and friends is there as his support system. The programs of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Wichita, the National Down Syndrome Society, Families Together, State of Kansas, Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, ARC of Sedgwick County (Tavrick received their 2005 Young Achiever’s Award), USD 259 – Department of Special Education, Special Olympics, Sedgwick County CDDO, PEAK Parents, Rainbows United, Cerebral Palsy Camp, Heartspring, and Sedgwick County Early Childhood Council are part of his story. Tavrick is attending his neighborhood school and his progress is great due in large part to a remarkable paraprofessional, Dr. Shirley Langford, who rolled up her metaphorical sleeves and got to work educating him.

Life is a leap of faith that all children will live rosy and bright existences. With this utopian vision of a terrific world that awaits Tavrick etched into our minds we go leaping into the future. We hope that the very best that life has to offer comes his way.

Tavrick is a child with Down Syndrome.