Sara’s story

Written by Guest Writer

February 26, 2023

“I’m Jen, Sara’s mum and along with Sara we’re here to let you know a little bit of Sara’s story. Sara is 14 years old and lives at home with me, her dad, sister Erin and brothers Adam and Aden. 

We found out Sara’s diagnosis of Down syndrome after she was born on 29th May 2008 when following the doctors’ suspicion they carried out a blood test. In all honesty, Sara’s post birth experience whilst in the hospital should have been dealt with differently, but we like to, and have always focused on, the positives. She was healthy and was our beautiful baby that just needed love and had the same needs as any other baby. 

Sara was so close to her sister Erin who was only 17 months older than her, Sara tried to copy everything Erin did. Having Erin to look up to most definitely helped Sara’s development. We knew she was a very visual learner from early on. We had great support from Sheffield children’s Hospital that referred us to lots of helpful services such as portage that delivered education and focused on helping Sara develop certain skills that she required extra help with. We had regular speech and language therapy at home and because she had conductive hearing loss from around 12 months I was advised on completing an 8 week Makaton course, which I found very useful for effective communication.

Sara started nursery at around 2 years old and stayed there till she was 5. She has experienced mainstream schools and has spent time in an integrated resource within a mainstream school also. I also homeschooled Sara for 2.5 years. 

Sara started her new school in September 2021 which is a special needs school that she can stay at till she’s 19. She is super lucky. Her school is pretty amazing and she comes home so happy everyday despite having to travel a good 40-45mins each way daily. She experiences so many fun activities, runs an enterprise, learns social and life skills. She has a sailing trip and outdoor pursuits residential this year and has work experience on a farm every week. 

Along side all this, Sara has been in the modelling and acting industry since early 2017. She has been so lucky with so many experiences, she loves all that comes with it i.e travelling and all the people she meets along the way. She’s worked with the likes of Steve Backshall, Frank Bruno, Kadina Cox, Lemar and Jamelia for various campaigns and TV series. She’s been on the front cover of 3 magazines in 3 different countries, walked the catwalk during London Fashion Week, has worked for brands such as Matalan, River Island, M&S, Mountain Warehouse and Primark, she has done several editorials, TVC and has done extras work she has even appeared on live TV for This Morning. 

When we look back at all the amazing experiences and all the achievements Sara has gained we’re immensely proud and feel nothing but gratitude for everyone who’s believed in her and treated her with love and kindness. Sara’s success is also down to her character traits which we would describe as the 3Ps – patient, persistent and positivity. 

There has been many temporary challenges along the way, and no doubt more to come, but we focus on giving Sara the support, tools and skills we believe will be required to overcome the challenges in this journey we called life.”

Many thanks to #positiveaboutdownsyndrome and Sara’s mum Jen, for allowing us to share this story! 🙂


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