Erin Statz was shocked when her son, Ronin, was born with Down syndrome. She was nervous about the life he would lead, and saddened that it would include judgmental looks from strangers and snide comments from people who wouldn’t understand that his syndrome didn’t define him. She hoped above everything else that he would live a life full of acceptance and love, but knew that it may not be so easy for him.
To her surprise, her son was chosen to be featured in Target’s annual toy book, playing with fun toys in the advertisements and showing society that kids with Down syndrome aren’t that different after all.
Along with her son, the company decided to feature another child with Down syndrome, and another child in a wheelchair, playing with various toys and teaching young children that disabilities aren’t something to be afraid of.
Cheers to you Target for leading the way in this important mission. I hope many more companies and most importantly people will make inclusion happen and make it stay!” She wrote.
She hopes that Ronin’s inclusion in the book will help spark a discussion among parents and young children, explaining that although he may look a little different, he really is just like any other kid. He loves to play with toys, he loves to learn, and he loves to play with others.
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