Six-year-old Emerson is a fun, feisty, funny, slightly sassy, smiley, recently-promoted-from-kindergarten, girl who likes Trolls, swimming, reading, and riding horses, and also happens to have cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Emerson actively crushes assumptions about what a little girl in a wheelchair who is non-verbal is like. She even grabbed Senator Kamala Harris’s attention when Sen. Harris was fighting to save the ACA and Medi-Cal.
Fox and Trove’s mission statement reads, bolded and in all caps, “WE ARE ON A MISSION TO CHANGE THE WORLD OUR KIDS GROW UP IN BY TEACHING THEM HOW TO BE KIND AND BRAVE.” Just that tiny little goal. To change the world in which our kids grow up. Not at all daunting. Co-founders Jami Schaer and Laura Wood believe they can achieve it, and they are making changing the world easy, engaging, and fun!
If you love a kiddo with Down syndrome, you may be able to relate to the fear many soon-to-be parents feel when their doctors tell them their baby will be born with an extra chromosome and that that 21st chromosome will mean their kid may face a whole host of medical challenges during their lifetime. Fast forward a bit, though, and lots of those same parents find that the fear has been replaced by joy.
Little Rosemary loves the homemade crackers her parents bake, though maybe not just for the reasons you’d expect. They are actually part of the strict keto diet (short for “ketogenic”) that ended her epileptic seizures.
István is sometimes known as Tiny Mister Fort Hood, a role he takes seriously. It was an important honor for this aspiring special needs model and actor, but also an opportunity to support a cause that’s important to him.
Justin is like every kiddo—he loves to play outdoors, camp, play soccer and baseball, invent things, and be creative. He also loves frogs, which might seem like just another thing he has in common with lots of 6-year-olds...except he’s taken that love and turned it into an idea that will do so much more!
How to describe Wesley? If you ask around the PLAE office you’ll hear many answers of “hello jello!”—his favorite greeting—and lots of stories from those Wesley has made smile, giggle, and roll with laughter. You might say he’s a sweet spirit, a hyper mischief-maker, and at the end of the day, just like any other kiddo.
When Shari and Brian Silver welcomed their son Justin into the world, they were over the moon, as any new parents would be. But as Justin grew, his development was delayed, and it was clear something was wrong. Doctors struggled with a diagnosis based on his behavior—similar to autism, but not quite. The diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome came only after a grand mal seizure at 4½, that Justin thankfully recovered from.
We first met Paula and her family through Instagram, following along with their active adventures there and on her blog FitFam6. We met up at our spring launch event and were especially struck by the curiosity and excitement of little Asher, their youngest son. Paula recently shared Asher’s journey with us and we were inspired to share their story and partner together through PLAE-it-forward.