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We are a group of friends who have come together because we share the common bond of caring for someone who has Trisomy 21. We are here to share therapy tips, medical issues, laughs, accomplishments and yes, even frustrations. We embrace what Trisomy 21 has brought into our lives. We feel that it has taught us to appreciate the true meaning of life. We count our children as blessings! We will fiercely protect them and fight for their lives to be valued just as all other peoples' are. We share our pictures, our stories and our hearts here not only to provide friendship and support for each other, but also in the hopes that others will open their minds and their hearts to our unique children and, in turn, make a better world for everyone.

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Just wanted to share a comment from my petition:

September 13 2008 at 2:06 PM

Melissa & Garrett  (Login mhart71)

We are the Self-Advocacy All Stars of The Arc of Orleans County. Self Advocacy is a movement of adults with disabilities advocating for their needs; living on our own, getting work where we like, having a say on staff who serve us, and doing fun stuff in the community. We have disabilities, but we can and do still live a full life. Our group went to watch “Tropic Thunder” when we heard about the controversy. We wanted to form our own opinions about the movie, and every one of us, except for one person, hated the movie. It is all because of what the “R” word has meant in our lives. We know that Simple Jack was an over the top character, and he was not real. No one we know acts like him, but because of the stereotypes people learn about us, there will be many people who think we act like that. A movie like “Tropic Thunder” sets us back. In our group, every one of us has hurtful memories of being called “retard.” All through our schooling, mostly from middle school through high school, kids used the word to hurt us. Now since the movie has come out we have seen negative behavior that we are afraid will create negative trends. As we said before – all through school, but even now, we are subjected to humiliating treatment in public. One of our members, a 32 year old woman, was recently at a restaurant and was harassed while going in and out. A very rude man yelled out the “R” word. It was hurtful and nothing makes it better. Even after all these years it is humiliating. There are now t-shirts with the phrase “Never Go Full Retard” on the shirt. We don’t think it was right to make a shirt like that, and the movie inspired it. It will give more kids permission to call others names. We are adults now, and we hope that young people with special needs today would get treated better than we were treated. This movie doesn’t help our cause. We would like DreamWorks to make movies that show us in a positive light. For every movie like “Tropic Thunder” that shows people with special needs being ridiculous & being treated badly, we ask that you make a few movies that show us as real people who live and feel like everyone else.

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