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Thin Places

I’m sometimes skeptical of news stories about individuals with Down syndrome. I wonder whether the individuals are really being celebrated for who they are or if telling a heart-warming story about the kid with the disability who overcomes the odds is really just a way of making the rest of us feel good without actually engaging the issues at hand. 

But a few items have come to my attention recently that seem worth passing along because they highlight individuals with Down syndrome who have been recognized by their communities and families as real people with great worth.
First, the short film, Deedah and Me. This touching story gives us a glimpse of life with Jonathan, through the eyes of his older sister Charlotte. Charlotte adores her younger brother, but she doesn’t sugar-coat the difficulties he faces as a child with Down syndrome. Click here to order a copy, and click here to read a Perfectly Human post by Phil May, Jonathan’s dad. 
Second, an article about a young woman with Down syndrome who was voted Homecoming Queen: “In a kingdom called Fletcher High, she defies Down label” (although I have to say I’m not a big fan of the title). What’s great about this story is the way it articulates the challenges Cara faced initially in her high school as well as the way she became a recognized and integrated part of the school community. She didn’t become Queen out of sympathy but because she was an important representative of the school community. 
Finally, and this is just plain cute, a 7-year old boy raps about his younger sister with Down syndrome in this Youtube video: Just the Way You Are.

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