According to World Down Syndrome Day Organization, "21 March 2014 marks the 9th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day and each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder. But there is still so much more we can do.
Down Syndrome International encourages our friends all over the world to choose your own activities and events to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities."
Mixed Up Clothing not only celebrates diversity, we believe in inclusion. We want everyone to feel accepted and important. My daughter, Bree, because of her genetic disorder, was bullied at school and I never wanted her to feel "less than". I have been a strong supporter of special needs children and their families. They hold a special place in my heart. That's why when I received a facebook message from a mom who wanted to submit her special needs daughter as a model for our clothing line, it was a no brainer!
Mom submitted her picture and came over for a model fitting. I fell in love with her daughter, Faith. Like my daughter, Bree, she was so full of love. She gave hugs and was so outgoing. She loves to sing and when she sang "Let It Go" from the Frozen soundtrack, I lost it!
I immediately bonded with her mom because we both had something in common caring for a child with special needs. We both also treat our daughters the same way we treat our other children. If behaving improperly, they receive positive reinforcement, time-out, and/or are redirected just like we would do with our other children. We are preparing them for the future and believe they can do everything they want to do.
Last weekend we had a photo shoot directed by DDH PR. Faith arrived and was rearing to go. She got into BeautybyTK's hair and make-up chair, where she used haircare products kindly provided by Circle of Friend's and then placed in our dress and awaited her turn in front of the camera. Michael, of 8x10 proofs, was a pro. Having 2 daughters of his own, he is familiar with working with kids. With music pumping, Faith was ready to go. She loved to move and change poses. She followed direction and had everyone in awe at how well she did. She was a natural.
Faith is a part of our Mixed Up Clothing family and we welcome her with open arms. If you have any assumptions of children with special needs, like the song says..."Let It Go!"