Coast child featured in video promoting down syndrome acceptance

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 9:38 PM CDT
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LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - Next month, the face of a one-year old Coast girl Alice Boyd will shine bright where the lights are brightest at Times Square in New York, all as a way to bring a spotlight to children with down syndrome.

Alice brings a smile to whoever she’s around, especially her mother, Sherry Boyd.

“She’s pretty amazing,” said Boyd.

At 20 months old, Alice has already overcome a life time of obstacles. She started life in the NICU and needed heart surgery.

“She has taught me so much,” Boyd said. “You hear other people say it, but she has taught me, my family and everybody we meet so much, I learn so much from her.”

Hannah Oliver with the USM Children’s Center for Communication and Development works with Alice regularly. She’s part of a team using physical, occupational and speech therapy. With their help, Alice keeps achieving new milestones. She’s learned to walk in just the last month.

“She came to us very small and young,” Oliver said. “She’s progressed in her motor skills, social skills, adaptive skills, cognitive communication, all areas of development she has progressed in.”

“Just rolling over and those types of things that babies would do on their own, they would teach her, and once she learned it, she would do it,” said Boyd.

Alice is one of about 500 children from across the nation selected by the National Down Syndrome Society to be featured in a video to be shown on screens in New York City’s Times Square. Alice and her mother will join other down syndrome families on September 17 to see it in person. Boyd hopes the video will lead to acceptance and inclusion for children like Alice.

“If you see somebody with down syndrome, instead of just looking away, come up and say ‘hi’ or ask me, because 9 times out of 10 she’s waving at the person if they make contact with us,” Boyd said. “I feel like it’s becoming more accepted. People are realizing that these people do make a difference, they can work and teach us a lot if we let them.”

4-year old from Pass Christian Hudson Hartman will also be featured in the video.

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