August 11 2009 Children with Special Needs Newsletter
TV Actors Who Have Down Syndrome
If you have the opportunity to support community theater or school plays that feature actors (including actresses) who have Down syndrome, you could be inspiring those individuals as well as others in the audience to pursue acting as a career.
Having the goal of being an actor as a vocational plan might mean pursuing private classes as well as any offered in public school, and may be one more reason to spend more effort advocating for speech therapy and other support services from elementary school on up.
Children, teens and adults with Down syndrome or other types of childhood disability who have pursued their interest in acting have delighted wider audiences as well as their families and the neighborhoods where they grew up. Whether an individual is on stage in their own community or displaying their talent in television or movies, they are often learning more and teaching more people than they would without that experience.
Television actors with Down syndrome have played many TV roles, including Jason Kingsley in 'The Fall Guy' in 1984 and Chris Burke in 'Life Goes On' 1989 - 1993. Now, Luke Zimmerman carries on the tradition in a recurring role in 'The Secret Life of the American Teenager'. Other actors with Down syndrome seen in more recent television shows include Chris Burke in 'Touched by an Angel' and 'E.R.'; Andrea Friedman from 'Life Goes On' in 'Saving Grace' and 'Strong Medicine', Brad Silverman in 'Quantum Leap', and 'Curb Your Enthusiasm', Louise Brown in 'E.R.', Blair Williamson in 'Scrubs', 'The Guardian' and 'Nip/Tuck', along with actors like Jennifer Cunningham, Kristine Johnson, M.E. Powell, Christine Young, Edward Barbanell, Brandon Bauer, John Taylor, Ricky Wittman and Ashley Wolfe. Read more about these actors and more at the DSALA website, as I did.
If you are participating in a Down Syndrome Buddy Walk in September or plan to promote Down Syndrome Awareness in October, most monthly newspapers or magazines will need to see your story ideas or articles by the end of August. Weekly and daily newspapers also benefit from advance notice for story ideas or articles, so please include information about actors with Down syndrome in your idea list.
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With back-to-school sales going on in every department store, families are turning their attention to the challenges and promise of the new school year. Don't let this summer slip away without sitting down to contemplate and enjoy all the great gifts our lives and families have brought to us. It can be a challenge to educate others about the joys we know and the difficulties we face when advocating for our sons and daughters or others in our family and community. Somewhere near there is a mom who would be encouraged and perhaps whose life would be validated if she read your story or saw your interacting with your child while shopping or playing in the park. Get out there and enjoy your life to the max for all of us who would cheer you on out loud if we were your neighbors in real life as we are online.
Visit specialneedschildren.bellaonline.com any time for other articles about families like yours, and information about babies, children and teens with childhood disabilities or other special needs.
To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Special Needs Children located here -
We would love to read about your son or daughter's acting experiences at the community forum, and any encouragement or advice you can share with other families.
Encouraging Fussy Babies and Sensitive Toddlers
Inclusive P.E. and Childhood Disability
Transition to Preschool from Early Intervention
Inclusion Benefits Classmates
IEP Preparation and Teacher Support
Effective Reading Instruction for Children with Autism,
Down Syndrome or Learning Disabilities
Teaching Handwriting Before or After School
Teaching Math Skills Before or After School
Universal Design for Learning - Access
to General Education Curriculum
Interviewing Caregivers for Your Child
Back to School with Diabetes
Back to School with Celiac Disease
Teaching Relatives to Care for a Disabled Child
Encouraging Late Talking Children
Advocating in Multicultural Communities
Child Safety - Pills, Purses, and Suitcases
Dentists, Oral Health, and Childhood Disability
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback!
Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, because we all love free knowledge!
Pamela Wilson, Special Needs Children Editor
Disability and Future Planning for Parents
Anxiety and Childhood Disability
Sensory Integration and Children
Sensory Processing Disorder in Children
Pain Management for Children at Clinics and Hospitals
Teaching Children about Money at Home
Amazon Kindle 2 and Childhood Disability
Easing Pain with Childhood Blood Draws, IV Lines and Injections
Symptoms of Childhood Onset (Insulin Dependent) Diabetes
Encouraging Children with Cancer
Friendship and Inclusion for Children with Special Needs
Teaching Children to Cook and Plan Meals
Prenatal Diagnosis: Down Syndrome
iPhone and iPod Touch Apps - Childhood Disability
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