It’s Canadian Down Syndrome Week! Did you know that there are about 45,000 Canadians with Down syndrome? At Surrey Place, we’re proud to promote inclusion and acceptance of people with disabilities all year round. We know that individuals with Down syndrome are thriving and valued members of the community, just like anyone else
We recently asked Nick, a Surrey Place client with Down syndrome, to tell us a bit about himself. We also had a chance to hear from his parents, Michael and Carol, who shared some additional insight with us about Nick’s life.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Nick: I am Nick Ashton and I am 38 years old. I like to watch lots of movies – action, horror, TV shows, and classic. I have almost 500 Blu-rays and DVDs.
Michael and Carol: Nick enjoys re-arranging and categorizing these movies.
Nick: I also play video games with my brother and my sisters – I win sometimes.
Michael and Carol: Nick’s brother lives in Kansas City, one sister lives in Vancouver, and his other sister lives in Toronto. He really enjoys playing games with them and it is a good way for him to maintain some social contact.
That’s great! We know the pandemic has been a difficult time for many, so it’s great to stay connected with your family and friends.
Nick: I also like going to Pegasus (my day program) and I like doing my job.
Michael and Carol: Nick has a cleaning job at the Pegasus store which he takes very seriously. He has friends at the day program that he has known for many years. Unfortunately, when the pandemic hit, he suddenly wasn’t able to go. He has only recently started back at Pegasus and in a very limited capacity. The combination of COVID-19, isolation, and Nick’s Down syndrome have been very challenging for him. We have survived so far but we are looking forward to life getting back to normal.
Can you tell us about your connection to Surrey Place?
Michael and Carol: Nick was involved with the Infant Stim program at Surrey Place when he was a baby. This was a terrific service for him, and it gave us a great increase in confidence. It was an in-home service, so it provided us with much needed social support as well. Recently Pascale [Application Assessor at Developmental Services Ontario – Toronto Region] has supported us and Nick in the DSO assessment process. She has been very helpful and gracious with us and Nick.
We’re so happy to help! Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Michael and Carol: Nick knows that he was born with Down syndrome but does not like to talk about it because he prefers to see himself as everyone else. He is very confident in his own abilities and in his communication skills. He has a repertoire of skills so that if someone doesn’t understand him, he can make sure that they do.
It’s been a pleasure to get to know you, Nick! Thank you, Nick, Michael, and Carol, for the lovely conversation.
Learn more about the Developmental Services – Toronto Region here.