According to a story from the Union Leader, a 7th grader from Bedford, Carter Murai, who has Down Syndrome, will appear on Sesame Street on January 26th on HBO.

Carter has been acting since he was 17 months old, according to the report. Carter's father, Michael Murai, was quoted as saying:

It is so encouraging for us to see people with Down syndrome being represented more and more on television, on film and in print advertising. It is really nice to see that inclusivity.

I am very happy to see that Down people are being recognized more and more as just as much of a contributor to society as every one else. I would argue that they contribute MORE than the average person.

My step-daughter, Audrey, has Down Syndrome and I swear, everywhere we go, she knows someone. This past weekend, we went to a concert that my step-son was singing in and Audrey came along for support. Someone in the choir knew Audrey from years and years ago! This lady, Suzanne Minard, was her speech teacher when she was in elementary school:

I know that everyone is supposed to be equal and all that. (Every one gets a trophy.) BUT, I will say that sometimes, I think people with Down Syndrome have a leg up on the rest of us and here's why:

1.  Audrey will tell you she's perfect and... She IS.  Audrey is not worried about what she wears, how much she weighs or how her hair looks.  She is perfect just the way she is and she knows it.  My best "cheat" days are with Audrey.

2.  You can NOT fool her if you are annoyed and/or mad. If I am not feeling like my normal Shirley-Temple-With-Sparklers-in-Her-Hand self, Audrey will call me out. If I don't want to talk about it, she'll get me to talk - or at least laugh a little.

3.  At the end of the day, she will hug you like you are the most important person ever and tell you she loves you - no matter what. She's 23 years old and I have the good fortune to look forward to that for the rest of our lives. No one I know gets that from their kids that are "normal."

4.  She thinks farts are funny and can't help but laugh on the occasion that one slips by and again... she's right. Farts ARE funny, but good LORD, what does that girl eat?!!  Haha!

5.  If she shies away from someone, run away from them yourself. Her emotional radar is as sharp as a razor.

6. Every thing is a party. "WOOOO HOOOO! Shower Party!" (just before she takes a shower.) It's a glorious way to live.

7.  She is an EXCELLENT Yahtzee player. Granted, we help her with the math, but the dice rolls are all her! She sometimes kicks our BUTTS and we all love it!

Congratulations, Carter! We'll be watching on January 26th!