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Boy Model With Down Syndrome a Hero


Meet the littlest model to make a splash in the media. Ryan is getting kudos from all over for his appearance in children’s clothing ads for Target and Nordstrom, reports Adweek’s Adfreak blog, because he’s adorable—and has Down syndrome.

What people are most excited about is the fact that Target and Nordstrom placed Ryan in the ad alongside children without Down syndrome and didn’t call attention to his condition. He wasn’t part of a Down Syndrome Week celebration and neither company released any press materials about their use of a child with Down syndrome. Parents of children with Down syndrome are excited to see their children reflected in a way that acknowledges their children are wonderful, perfectly normal kids. They applaud Target and Nordstrom for taking a big step toward acceptance and understanding of children with disabilities.

Plus: A Special Joy: Babies with Down Syndrome

Ryan’s mom posted a comment on the popular dad blog Noah’s Dad: “We are very pleased that Nordstrom placed Ryan in their catalog. The whole process of modeling is an extreme confidence booster for him. He received so much warmth and caring from the Nordstrom crew that he thought they were there just for him! We are honored that Ryan is making the Down syndrome community proud. He is a beautiful boy inside and out. He makes us better parents, and a better family."

Plus: 10 Great Toys for Kids with Special Needs


What do you think about these companies’ decision to use Ryan as a model without making a big to-do over it?