October is Down Syndrome awareness month. 6,000 babies each year are born with down syndrome, but there are many upsides to living with this developmental disability.
"People who don't know them don't spend time around them may feel sorry for them, may think oh wow that's a terrible thing. Come see them. that's not what they think," says LARC director Brian Hensgens.
Living with down syndrome isn't too different from what the rest of us experience each day. Brittany, who works in the LARC Mardi Gras bead store, goes to work every day, has hobbies, and spends time with the ones she loves.
"I have a lot of friends," says Brittany.
People with down syndrome also have something extra, an additional copy of chromosome 21. But more than that, a perspective on life that the rest of us could learn so much from.
"There is a spirit that is just pure love, pure innocence. they're happy, they're joyous, they're living in the moment, they're not worried about things they can't control. and unfortunately the world's missing a lot of that today," says Hensgens.
And in Down Syndrome awareness month, LARC's Brian Hensgens says building relationships with the developmentally disabled will do just as much for you as it will for them.
"I bet you know someone who knows someone who has downs. Get to know them. Meet them. Make it a point. I think that would open up a lot of minds," he says.