Community leaders and advocates including Colorado Gov. Jared Polis celebrated World Down Syndrome Day at the Colorado State Capitol Thursday. Each year the Global Down Syndrome Foundation brings together hundreds of families, community leaders and educators to discuss important updates in Down syndrome research and announce grant money which is awarded to programs supporting Down syndrome research.
GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers took the occasion to announce a new center that is planned to open in the Denver metro area by the summer of 2020. One of the families who had been working to bring a GiGi’s to Denver was the Jeub family.
“He’s a lovable goofball,” Elizabeth Jeub said of her four-year-old son Noah.
“He’s just a kid. He wants to play in the sandbox, he gets in fights with his sister, he throws toys, and he loves using new words.”
Noah has Down syndrome, but that doesn’t hold him back. He loves music, playing with his sister and is already learning to read.
“Our kids are capable of everything. They just need a little bit more time and they need a little bit different instruction in some areas to get there.”
Noah’s mom has been part of a small group of families working to bring a GiGi’s Playhouse to the Denver area.
“There will be programs for families who are still expecting their child all the way to career and university preparation for adults.”
The programs are all free of charge, and when it opens by the summer of next year will provide training as well as a sense of community.
“For parents to meet other parents who thought they were alone and now have a community and now have a place to come together.”
It’s slated to be a place of learning and instruction, and preparation for an unlimited future.
“I hope that, should he desire to, he can attend a university, find meaningful employment, he can be surrounded by friends who respect him and challenge him and have fun with him.”