Recently Gerber announced that 18 month old Lucas Warren from Dalton, Georgia is the Gerber Baby Contest Winner for the 2017-2018 contest. Lucas has Down syndrome.
Since this was announced, there have been many articles written with both pros and cons about Down syndrome. The news has been filled with lawmakers fighting in different states about whether a Down syndrome child should be aborted after prenatal testing.
Some people have already decided what the future holds for these unborn children. Nobody has the ability to really predict what the quality of life for that child will be or the influence on others.
After working with children with disabilities as teacher, I found that some of my students with the lowest IQ’s were the most creative and had more empathy for other students. They had people skills that other students lacked.
IQ does not define a person. It is what you do with your life that matters. Down syndrome lives matter! Some amazing people are showing us just that means.
Gracie Jagler is story that came to my attention recently and I wanted to share it. She has Down syndrome and even started her own business at 19. Gracie is the owner of three rescue miniature schnauzers and is passionate about dogs. She took that passion and with the help of her family started a business. Her business was awarded the first-ever Blake Pyron Entrepreneurship Scholarship by the National Down Syndrome Society. She was recognized for her success in creating her own company. This company is called Gracie Doggie Delights and makes natural dog treats. The business is based out of her home in Watertown, Wisconsin.
I love what her dad John Jagler stated in the Journal Sentinel “We hope that we are changing the way some people think about people with special needs. It’s about abilities, not disabilities.”
Let this story inspire you to rethink the possibilities for all children with disabilities. They deserve support so they can achieve as much as possible. Don’t all children deserve that?
“It’s about abilities, not disabilities.”
I would encourage anyone who has been told they will have a Down syndrome child to look at children like Gracie. It is amazing what the love of a family can do for any child. The love these children give back should be cherished. Anyone who knows Gracie would probably say the same thing.
We never know the future of an unborn child. All children are different, but isn’t that what makes this world beautiful? All lives matter.