A Better Region 8: Focus on abilities not disabilities

A Better Region 8: Focus on abilities not disabilities

Meagan Nash's son Asher is a special little boy. Special because of his beautiful smile, his bright blue eyes, and happy nature. Little Asher will likely be labeled "special" by people other than his parents during his life. You see, Asher was born with Down syndrome. It is a congenital disorder resulting in distinct physical features and some degree of cognitive disability.

Last week a story caught my eye regarding Asher's mother submitting pictures of him to a modeling agency for an upcoming Carter's clothing campaign. The modeling agency rejected the pictures because of his genetic disorder or quite simply, the way he looked. Their understanding was Carter's hadn't specified they wanted a child with special needs and as such, did not deem Asher a candidate for the campaign.

One of Meagan's concerns for her son when he was born was coming to life: that because Asher was different he wouldn't be afforded the opportunities that most kids enjoy. Meagan advocating for her son took to Facebook and shared pictures of Asher with the caption, "We aren't giving up! This handsome boy is ready to show the world what #changingthefaceofbeauty is!"  To date, the pictures of Asher has been shared over 120,000 times and OshKosh, a subsidiary of Carter's, has met with the family.

Remember there's nothing wrong with being different, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that focusing on the abilities and not the disabilities makes this A Better Region 8.

- Chris Conroy, KAIT VP & General Manager

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