The Bloom Project is a group of people dedicated to bridging the gap of unfulfilled desires and unlimited opportunities for those with special needs.
To Family and Friends of those with learning differences,
Many of us, here at the Bloom Project, have personally experienced first hand what it is like to have a family member or friend who has special needs. We see them as a friend, sister or brother, but realize many only see them as a label. We have seen people limit them and treat them unfairly…but we believe it’s time for their glass ceiling of expected limitations to be shattered.
Many people assume those with learning differences will fail, instead of helping them overcome their obstacles.
Even more damaging, many people assume those with learning differences will fail, instead of helping them overcome their obstacles. We believe, the higher expectations we have of those with special needs, the higher they will rise. After all, potential is not who you are today, it is the expectation of what you can become tomorrow. We are committed to valuing their lives and abilities in the present while believing in their potential and future.
When I see my sister Chloe, I see a friend sojourning with me on this journey called life, with dreams, capabilities, and desires. I don’t see “Down Syndrome” or “special needs.” As a child, this worldview was temporally interrupted. It started when Chloe would come home from school crying because people were calling her names or not inviting her to parties or “staring” at her. Often, I was overwhelmed with sadness for her. I would think, what if the roles where reversed? What if I had special needs? My perspective changed when I realized I could help people see Chloe the way I saw her: a person who is far more like us than different. I could be her bridge. I could be someone who championed her dreams and helped her create a pathway over her obstacles. Soon this desire to advocate for her turned into advocacy for others who have been affected by special needs.
Together, Chloe and I have built bridges over struggles that could keep her from her dreams. She now has a fulfilling job, recently got engaged, cooks, cleans, works out, drives a golf cart, shops with her friends, and enjoys reading, texting, Facebook, and playing musical instruments. And she continues to dream…she would like to drive a car and have her own home. I have confidence she will keep crossing other challenging bridges, as her family and friends champion her.
It’s funny; sometimes I forget Chloe has learning differences. Our community loves her, and her opportunities continue to unfold. I think it all started because first my parents believed in her and her potential, which inspired me, then impacted our friends, and finally changed our community. What I learned growing up with Chloe is that there’s a multiplicative effect when just one person chooses to be a bridge for someone with special needs.
My dream is that one day, others who have Down Syndrome will wake up to the same reality as Chloe. We hope to help our communities open doors of opportunities for individuals with learning differences and show them and their families they are loved and valued.
Believing in their future,