America’s next top model: a little boy with Down syndrome

This is something wonderful to behold.

From AdWeek:

One young man is making great strides in the modeling world despite what many might see as a significant impediment—he has Down syndrome. His name is Ryan, and he appears on page 9 of the new Target circular, just a few months after making an appearance in the Nordstrom catalog. A blog called Noah’s Dad, written by the father of a different boy with Down syndrome, posted the Target ad this week and lauded the retailer for being seamlessly inclusive without drawing attention to itself. “This wasn’t a ‘Special Clothing For Special People’ catalog,” he writes. “There wasn’t a call out somewhere on the page proudly proclaiming that ‘Target’s proud to feature a model with Down syndrome in this week’s ad!’ And they didn’t even ask him to model a shirt with the phrase ‘We Aren’t All Angels’ printed on the front. In other words, they didn’t make a big deal out of it. I like that.”

Read more. And check out the blog Noah’s Dad, too.


  1. Ronald King says:

    God working OT!

  2. pagansister says:

    Excellent! Bet Ryan is proud of himself too! :o )

  3. Oregon Catholic says:

    Very nice.

  4. Manny says:

    God bless him and all the companies that use him in their ads. Great story.

  5. (Fr) Tim SJ says:

    Hey thanks for posting this – i have been able to forward it to three different families who have a similar experience of Downs in the family – and one of them in particular is absolutely delighted to see this. She just told me it has ‘made her week’….. keep up the good work!!

  6. Gerard Nadal says:


  7. Fiergenholt says:

    Times have changed and here the Post-Vatican Church (and society in general) is a lot more hunan/humane than earlier generations.

    A story, dating back to the 1950′s, can be told about a family who built a fairly large and very modern ranch house directly across the street from a complex that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati had purchased and where it was building a new parish church/school.

    The yard of that home was very wide but not very deep — in fact the back fence edged up against a small cliff of sorts. The view to the west was gorgeous but very dangerous for small children.

    That family only had one child. She was a Downs-Child who had lived past toddler-hood (VERY rare in those “Pre-Vatican II” days). So the father built a small — almost vacation-cabin-sized — mini-home which matched the architectural style of the main house. That was “her-house” and she could go out there anytime she wanted and she stayed overnight in “her-house” fairly regularly. The parents did not entertain in the main-house that often but when they did, that was when the daughter stayed over-night in “her-house.”

    The child and her parents have long since died. Recently the deacon of that parish and I had supper together and I told him the story of that house and family. He knew exactly which house it was and both the main house and “her-house” still stand. He had often wondered about the oddity of that small cute but very modern mini-home on the large side yard.

    I cannot help but wonder how much the effort of the late Rose Kennedy — the President’s Mother — had a role to play in changing our attitudes toward the seriously developmentally disabled.

  8. Regina Faighes says:

    Ryan is an adorable little boy. I commend Target and Nordstrom’s for giving him this opportunity. I wish Ryan much happiness and success. God bless him!

  9. Noah's Dad says:

    I’m Noah’s Dad…the one who posted the story you mentioned. Thanks so much for posting this. I hope all of these children will have a chance at life. :)

  10. cathy mac says:

    Ryan you look like you are having so much fun in the Target photos. Strike a pose!


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