I like Target. I like the clean stores. I like the products and brands they offer. I like how happy my wife gets when she goes there. This week I have another reason to like Target...and a reason you should like Target too! You may have noticed the following page from their latest ad...
The little boy you see in the $5 orange shirt is a little boy with Down syndrome named Ryan. I found out about this ad through a dad's blog about his son who also has Down syndrome. You can find his blog here, http://noahsdad.com/.
I am so happy to see companies with clout like Target take the initiative to include people with special needs in prominent media like this. Most of you know about my son, Cooper (http://youtu.be/QNU0Y3S-4hg), who was born with Down syndrome almost five years ago. When we see things like this, my wife and I are encouraged because it's a sign that people can see what we see; our son, like Ryan, is not a second class child. He deserves every right and opportunity as every other children. The only difference for kids with Downs is the path is usually a little slower and a little harder. Target has done a great service for all people with special needs. They did not single Noah out and accentuate his difference but grouped him with other children to accentuate his similarities. People with Down syndrome are far more similar to their typical peers than they are different. This is what every parent of every special needs child wants - to be included and recognized as "not so different" from you or me.
I hope you will take this one step further and send Target stores a little praise for this wonderful act of kindness and inclusion. Please tweet your thanks using Target's twitter handle @Target. Re-post this blog and help others understand how to include people with Down syndrome more in every day life.
Thank you, Target Stores. You have made our family more loyal than before. Target is "stuff I like!"
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