Walking came quickly, but talking was harder for me, so I learned American Sign Language. My favorite signs were “cookie” and “eat.” Mom and I started traveling to local elementary schools as Ambassadors for ACDS, where I got to show-off and teach others what a child with Down syndrome was capable of.
I started kindergarten in 1993, where four other children and I piloted the first inclusion class in the South Huntington School District. Today, integrated classes are an educational right but, for our district, we were the first! I loved being in classes with my typical peers. I stayed with them until seventh grade, when the academic demands became too challenging. I started taking smaller classes where I fine-tuned my skills.