specialneedschildren Newsletter

Children with Special Needs

August 11 2009 Children with Special Needs Newsletter

Here's the latest article from the Special Needs Children site at BellaOnline.com.

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

Kindergarten Transition

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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