Down Syndrome Festival Helps Families Find Resources, Spread Awareness

Saturday, September 24th 2022, 10:35 pm


The Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma hosted its 28th annual festival on Saturday.

DASCO said this festival celebrates what makes people living with Down Syndrome in our community so special.

The Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma helps around 900 families. They have a goal to help more families find resources for their loved ones living with Down Syndrome.

Oklahoma families came together to spread awareness about people living with Down Syndrome.

“Down Syndrome is the third replication of the 21st chromosome, so you and I have 46 chromosomes. Individuals with down syndrome have 47,” Sarah Soell, DASCO executive director said.

Bobby Kern said he looks forward to this event every year.

“My youngest son has Down Syndrome. Our son, Josiah takes advantage of a lot of the programs that the association provides,” Kern said.

Kern embracing his son's abilities. He said his disability only makes him more special.

“It's such a ride to be on and he makes it exciting,” Kern said.

He and others said they're running a mile for the rockstars in their lives making each step for acceptance.

“It's all about inclusion and accepting people with a disability or without a disability. Even though I have down syndrome stop me from what I can do,” Heather Hancock-Blackburn said.

Behind many of those smiling faces are some challenges; something DASCO is fighting against.

“I would love for more job opportunities to be available for our teens and adults, but mainly more inclusion in the classroom. We don't want to be segregated in the special ed classroom all the time,” Soell said.

DASCO encourages us all to look beyond the diagnosis and more at the person.

“They have the same abilities that you and i do. They have the same likes and dislikes that you and i do and we just want everybody to see the person that they are,” Soell said.

“Josiah is a rockstar he does all kinds of stuff. Josiah has changed all of us for the better,” Kern said.


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