Down syndrome : Cast of ‘Born This Way’ Responds to Winning Two Emmys and Making History

The Creative Arts Emmys aired Saturday night on FXX, and for fans of “Born This Way,” the award show did not disappoint.

“Born This Way” was nominated for six Emmys and took home two: Outstanding Casting for a Reality Program and Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program.

The show also marked the first time in history that people with Down syndrome presented at an awards show. Cast members Rachel Osterbach and John Tucker gave out awards in three categories.

Speaking to The Mighty, Rachel Osterbach’s parents, Gary and Laurie Osterback, said, “Born This Way” gives hope and inspiration to parents who have children with Down syndrome. “It encourages inclusion by showing that individuals with Down syndrome have hopes and dreams similar to the ‘typical’ population.”

Rachel, excited about her night, added:

It was a dream come true for me because I got to be a presenter at the Emmys! I love being on the red carpet; I love to pose on the red carpet. I got to meet Derek Hough, one of the greatest moments of my life — I even danced with him! I was so excited that we won two Emmys! I wasn’t upset that we didn’t win for best show, because we won it last year, and it is better to be positive than negative.

“It’s so cool I got to do the Emmys two times, and so special. I love it so much,” Sean McElwee said.

Sean McElwee with show creator holding Emmy

Hiromi Ashmore, Elena’s mother, said “Born This Way” shows how every life is important, adding that the show has “given an opportunity to Elena and I to grow together, especially for Elena to identify herself and gain her confidence.”

Elena added:

It was overwhelming not only to be nominated for the Emmy but also be able to receive an award. That doesn’t happen in everyday’s life to anybody. So nice to meet celebrities and also they recognized us and gave us such positive comments. That made me proud of myself and everybody around me. It was awesome seeing John and Rachel were the presenters for the first time in Emmy’s history that people with Down Syndrome were chosen.


And in John Tucker style, the “Born This Way” star said, “It never hurts to say please, thank you and I’m sorry.”

“Born This Way” has been renewed for a fourth season on A&E.


Photographer Collect Eleven Babies with Down Syndrome, reveals their Real beauty with Pics

When Julie Wilson was growing up, she lived in what was an otherwise normal family. The only thing special about her family? Her sister, Dina was born with down syndrome. Because of this, Julie now uses her talents to help…


Julie is now a talented photographer that operates in New Jersey. She decided recently, however, to undertake a project that involved some very special subjects.


Julie decided to do a series of photographs depicting children that had all been diagnosed with down syndrome.


The motivation behind the project? Julie wanted to show the world that although these children may suffer from a disability, they all have unique and incredible personalities.


Julie wanted to let everyone know that just because a child has down syndrome doesn’t mean they and their families can’t live happy lives.

If you didn’t know, down syndrome occurs when someone possesses an extra chromosome in their body.


Although it can stunt physical and mental growth, down syndrome isn’t as severe of a problem as it used to be because of all the research surrounding it. Now more than ever, people diagnosed with down syndrome are able to live happy and fulfilling lives.


Julie’s sister Dina passed away 4 years ago due to heart failure. Dina may no longer be with Julie, but Julie will remember her forever with this tribute.


Julie says that Dina was “the best thing that could have happened to our family.”


Julie wants to show the world that these children have just as much to offer the world compared to anyone else. Her photographs do an amazing job of portraying her message!


What did you think about Julie’s photos? We want to hear your thoughts. Let us know in the comments below!


Finding ‘Love in Every Stitch’ Parenting My Child With Down Syndrome

I am knitting. There. I’ve admitted it. After all these years, I am learning to knit. And I am loving it.

I’ve never been a fan, it’s fair to say. There were better things to do with my time; not that I had the time to do better things. I felt superior. That knitting was beneath me. Fanciful yet dull. Not cultured enough. I suppose I even looked down on those who spent time and money on this hobby. Believing them and their creations to be less than. Preferring shop-bought perfection over (what I saw as) imperfect and clumsy-looking. Frills and frou frou.

I was the same with houses. Give me a modern, easy to maintain, some say characterless, property over an older one with its quirky features and creaky floorboards any day.

I didn’t see the joy. The love in every stitch. The story in every room. All I knew was prejudice – towards knitting and crafting. Towards joy. Until last week.

In a few short months I have been truly humbled by some new friends. Their love and joy for this most ancient of crafts has made me realize how much I have been missing. I am coming to regard hand-crafted items I once would have been disdainful of as things of beauty. Things that have the power to make my heart sing, even. Love in every stitch.

So last week, I began to learn to knit. It did not start well. The woman in the shop asked me if I had chosen the right size needles. Did they have the right number on them? She obviously saw my hesitation and suggested I could go back and change them if they were the wrong ones.
I just nodded. I hadn’t the faintest idea what she meant. Her next question stumped me completely.

“What are you knitting? What’s it going to be?” Again, I had no idea. But in a moment, across the counter, I knew it didn’t matter. I knew that whatever I knitted would be beautiful. Unique. A one-off. It mattered not what it was, or how long it would take to finish – if ever. It was mine.

I paid, stuffed the needles and a ball of wool into my bag and left the store. Excited.

There’s a verse in the Bible I have always loved. “You knit me together in my mother’s womb… I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” — Psalm 139.

When my baby was born with Down syndrome, I had many other prejudices that needed taking down. Prejudices about people with Down syndrome. Ideas that they were somehow less than other people. I craved the “perfection” I saw in babies without an extra chromosome. I asked why my baby had been given the “wrong number.” I wondered what she would become. How would she turn out?

Others asked this question too. Some asked it before she was born. They said I could forget about her and try again. Hopefully get one with the right number. For all my prejudices about people with Down syndrome, this suggestion was abhorrent to me.

Five and a half years on and I know now she does not have the wrong number. There is no such thing. She has a different number. That is all. She is knitted together — fearfully and wonderfully made. And there is love in every stitch.




6 facts about Down’s syndrome you should know

Around one in every 1000 babies born in the UK are born with Downs’ syndrome, a genetic condition that affects about 40,000 people in the country, according to the Down’s Syndrome Association.

Down’s syndrome awareness week (20-26th March) focuses on allowing people with Down’s syndrome to express themselves and be heard in their communities. In honour of the week-long event, the DSA has compiled five things the average person might not know about Down’s syndrome.

1. Down’s syndrome is a learning disability, not an illness

Down’s syndrome is not a disease. It is caused by the presence of an extra chromosome in a baby’s cells. People with Down’s syndrome are not ill and do not “suffer” from the condition, they will have a learning disability. The learning disability affects a person’s ability to learn, it does not mean they cannot learn.

2. Relationships are the same

People with Down’s syndrome are perfectly capable of forming all types of relationships with people they encounter in their lives, be it friendship, love or a dislike of someone.

3. Every person is unique

There are certain physical characteristics that can occur. People with Down’s syndrome can have all of them or none. A person with Down’s syndrome will always look more like his or her close family than someone else with the condition.

4. We all get emotional

People with Down’s syndrome have the same feelings and moods as everyone else. They have ups and downs and can like or dislike things and/or people.

5. Not all babies with Down’s syndrome are born to older mothers 

Eighty percent of children with Down’s syndrome are born to women younger than 35. However, the likelihood of having a child with Down’s syndrome does increase with the age of the mother.

6. There are employment opportunities

As long as the right support is given, people with Down’s syndrome are able to work. The DSA, launched their WorkFit programme in 2012, designed to turn the ‘supported employment’ concept on its head. WorkFit is a tailored service dedicated to training employers about the Down’s syndrome learning profile, finding the right employment opportunities, for the right people. There are currently 226 employers registered to the programme including The Environment Agency, Costa Coffee and Premier Inn.


What people with Down’s syndrome and their families wish you WOULDN’T say

Since Down’s syndrome was recognised by John Langdon Down in 1866, attitudes towards and knowledge of the condition have progressed and become more informed.

But there’s still a way to go.

One in 1000 babies born are with Down’s syndrome and there are 40,000 indivIduals living with the condition in the UK .

Yet incorrect and hurtful terminology is still common, as are many misconceptions about the condition.

To help educate others an break down the barriers many people with Down’s syndrome face, the Down’s Syndrome Association have compiled a list of things to avoid saying and have debunked some enduring myths.

DON’T say…

  • Suffers from OR is a victim of Down’s syndrome.
  • A Down’s baby/person/child
  • Retarded/mentally handicapped/backward
  • Disease/illness/handicap
  • The RISK of a baby having Down’s syndrome (in relation to pre-natal screening and probability assessments).
  • Down’s (as an abbreviation).

Do say…

  • Has Down’s syndrome.
  • A person/baby/child with Down’s syndrome or who has Down’s syndrome.
  • Learning disability.
  • Condition OR genetic condition.
  • The chance of a baby having Down’s syndrome.
  • DS (as an abbreviation if necessary).


  • People with Down’s syndrome don’t live very long.
  • Only older mothers have babies with Down’s syndrome.
  • People with Down’s syndrome cannot achieve normal life goals.
  • People with Down’s syndrome all look the same.
  • People with Down’s syndrome are always happy and affectionate.


  • Today, people with Down’s syndrome can look forward to a life of 60 years plus.
  • Although older mothers have a higher individual chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome, more are born to younger mothers, reflecting the higher birth rate in this age group.
  • With the right support, people with Down’s syndrome can achieve normal life goals. The vast majority of people with Down’s syndrome learn to walk and talk, and many are now attending mainstream schools, passing GCSEs and living full, semi-independent adult lives.
  • There are certain physical characteristics that can occur. People with Down’s syndrome can have all of them or none. A person with Down’s syndrome will always look more like his or her close family than someone else with the condition.
  • We are all individuals and people with Down’s syndrome are no different to anyone else in their character traits and varying moods.


Mélanie Ségard Will Be France’s First Weather Woman With Down Syndrome

Mélanie Ségard has always dreamed of being a weather woman on TV. On Monday, the 21-year-old Frenchwoman, who has Down syndrome, posted a video on Facebook asking people to like her Facebook page with the hopes of attracting the eye of her local news channel.

“I’m different, but I want to show everyone that I can do a lot of things,” Ségard wrote on her page. “I want to prove it by presenting on TV.” Less than a week later, her video has been watched almost three million times and more than 189,000 people have liked her Facebook page.

“Today, people with a disability are invisible,” a spokesperson for the National Union of Charities for Parents with Disabled Children (UNAPEI), said in a statement. UNAPEI has helped Ségard coordinate her campaign. “The 100,000 likes are a sign of strong support – we are taken aback at how quickly the page became a success.”

So far, Ségard’s campaign is working. She’s caught the attention of BFMTV and France 2 – two French news channels – both of whom have invited her on air to present the weather on March 27. This would make Ségard the France’s first weatherperson with Down syndrome, according to The Telegraph.

In January 2016, two Special Olympics athletes became the first reporters with Down syndrome to work at Denver7 News, an ABC affiliate in the U.S. Hanna Atkinson, 21, from Littleton, Colorado, and Connor Long, also 21, from Louisville, Colorado, conducted interviews and hosted segments on the athletes, coaches, volunteers and families of Special Olympics Colorado. They worked in the studio with anchor Eric Kahnert and out in the field with a production team.




Supreme Court rejects plea to abort 26-week-old foetus with Down Syndrome

The Supreme Court today refused to allow a woman to abort her 26-week foetus that would be born with Down Syndrome.

The apex court said that aborting a 20-plus week foetus can be allowed only in cases where there is a danger to the life of the mother or the foetus. Medical reports said the woman’s child may suffer from physical and mental problems and with low intelligence, but there was no physical risk to the mother in continuing the pregnancy.

“It is sad that the child may suffer from physical and mental challenges and it’s unfortunate for the mother but we can’t allow an abortion…We have a life in our hands,” the court said.

Down Syndrome is a congenital disorder which causes intellectual impairment and physical abnormalities.

A two-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice L. Nageswara Rao, passed the interim order. Meanwhile, the Centre informed the bench that it is considering extending medical termination of foetuses of up to 24 weeks.

In February, the top court allowed a 22-year-old woman to terminate her 24-week pregnancy on the ground that it would endanger her life.

In January, the apex court allowed a Mumbai-based woman, who was in her 24th week of pregnancy, to terminate her pregnancy under the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. The court took into consideration a medical report that suggested the foetus would not be able to survive without the skull.



Australian model and designer Madeline Stuart, who has Down syndrome, acknowledges attendees after presenting creations from her label 21 Reasons Why By Madeline Stuart during New York Fashion Week in Manhattan, New York, U.S., February 12, 2017. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Model with Down syndrome launches design label at NY Fashion Week

Less than two years after making her runway debut, Madeline Stuart, a model with Down syndrome, launched her own fashion label on Sunday at New York Fashion Week with a collection of sporty leggings, crop tops and skirts.

The Australian-born model challenged fashion industry norms with her first catwalk appearance in 2015 and is credited with changing perceptions about people with Down syndrome. She hopes to do the same with her new label, 21 Reasons Why by Madeline Stuart.

Wearing blue patterned leggings, Stuart kicked off the packed show that featured casual looks designed for comfort and ease. She paired short flared skirts with long and shirt-sleeve crop tops and T-shirts that could be mixed and matched with dark and patterned leggings.

“It really does represent who she is,” Roseanne Stuart, Madeline’s mother, manager and design collaborator, said about the collection that will be sold exclusively online.

The collection’s name is a nod to Stuart turning 21 this year and the extra copy of chromosome 21 that is characteristic of Down syndrome.

The genetic disorder that affects development occurs in about one in 700 births, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome in the United States each year.

Since first stepping on the runway, the Brisbane-based model has not looked back and has appeared in fashion shows around the globe. After walking in two other shows in New York, she is heading to Paris and then Los Angeles and other U.S. cities before returning to Australia in late April.

Stuart, whose speech is limited, wanted to be a model immediately after seeing her first fashion show in Australia.

“Madeline has never had the concept that she can’t achieve anything,” her mother said in an interview, adding that after four seasons modeling in New York, she had shown her staying power.

Sara Hart Weir, president of the National Down Syndrome Society, believes Stuart has been an inspiration for others like her and has raised the expectations of people who have never met someone with the condition.

“By debuting her own fashion line and becoming a businesswoman, she is showing other individuals with Down syndrome that is it OK to have your own hopes and aspirations,” she said.

“The expectations for children with Down syndrome are higher than ever,” she added.

(Editing by Peter Cooney)


Watch Boy With Down Syndrome Dance With Gaga to “Born This Way”

10-year-old Nico Perry may be non-verbal, but his happy little dance-along with his favorite pop star says it all.

Nico has Down syndrome as well as being functionally non-verbal – so when Lady Gaga started her performance of “Born This Way” at the Super Bowl half-time show, Nico couldn’t agree more.

His father David, who shared the video of his shimmying son on Twitter, couldn’t help but be moved by his son’s enthusiasm.


The magical anthem of individuality doesn’t specifically mention disabilities, but Nico relates to the proud message anyway by unabashedly being his funky little self.

“He was born his way too,” said David. “My son dances like someone’s watching. In fact he checks every so often and gets mad if you’re not watching.”

(WATCH the video below)


Amazing Couple Takes Care of 9 Kids With Down Syndrome: “It’s Such a Privilege”

When Dave and Jane Daulton first learned that their son Tommy had Down syndrome, they prayed that God would “fix” and “cure” him of the disorder, Baby Center blog reported.

But when they almost lost him six weeks after birth, the Pennsylvania family began to realize just how valuable their son’s life was, just as he was.

“[Tommy] went into full cardiac arrest at around 6 weeks old, and we had to resuscitate him several times on the way to the hospital,” Dave Daulton said. “When you’re fighting for your child’s life…it bonds you…it’s like ‘this life is so precious’… we’re happy with who he is.”

However, the story doesn’t end there. Five years later, inspired by their son’s life as well as a dream in the middle of the night about having a baby with Down Syndrome, the couple agreed to adopt ten children over the next two decades who all had Down Syndrome. One child unfortunately died within nine months of coming home with the family, but the remaining children have overjoyed the Daulton family. The family now has five biological children and nine adopted children.


“It’s such a privilege. I think everyone should have a child with Down syndrome. We have had nothing but love from these children…we would be so much poorer without them,” Jane Daulton told Christian Broadcast Network.

Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that occurs when a child inherits an extra 21st chromosome, according to the NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine. The condition manifests in varying degrees of severity, but may affect intellectual abilities, facial expressions, cognitive functioning and weakened muscle tone. Childhood speech and language development may be delayed. Other symptoms may include hearing loss, sleep apnea, ear and eye conditions and congenital heart problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The condition occurs in one of every 800 newborns, the NIH continues, resulting in the birth of 5,300 babies annually diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Nationally, about 200,000 people in the United States are living with the condition.

Per the CDC, there are diagnostic tests that can be used to screen for the condition prenatally, leading many doctors to advocate abortion, but many parents elect to grant their child life despite the diagnosis. Many children with Down syndrome grow up to have a reasonable quality of life, and resources are available for parents who initially may feel they cannot cope with the additional challenges of the condition.

“There are 200 million orphans in the world, there are 4 billion Christians. There should not be a single orphan’s bed filled,” Daulton said.