One Sunday night, as a teenager, I sat home filled with boredom, as I flipped channels on our old, color tube television. I went from one channel to the next, looking for something to appease me. Suddenly, I arrived at a program that I had not seen before. The show was called, “Life Goes On”, and the main character was a young boy, name Corky, who had Down Syndrome.
At the time, I was not familiar with the term Down Syndrome. Yet, as I watched with interest, it reminded me of a few children and adults that I had seen before. They had the same facial appearance of the main character, Corky. Thinking about them and now seeing the actor on my television screen, it intrigued me.
I watched in amazement, seeing this character, interact with his parents, his sister, and friends. He attended school, went on outings, and he also had dilemmas and challenges that his family had to work through. It was amazing to me, to see them, live their life.
And although I knew that this show had a fictional storyline, I thought it was a great representation of “life”. I liked that it depicted a family that had a son that didn’t look like the “hunky” or “girl magnet” character, that was popular in the television shows of the 80’s and 90’s. It was much more realistic.
And to this day, I appreciate that show for giving me one of my first views of what it is like to raise a child with special needs. It was no different from any other. They were just a regular and normal family, living their life.