Local parents of special needs children thrilled with new face of Gerber

By: Julie Montanaro | WCTV Eyewitness News
February 9, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Lucas Warren made history this week when the 18-month-old was named the 2018 Gerber baby.

Warren is the first baby with downs syndrome selected for the iconic ad.

The selection has been nothing less than thrilling for parents of special needs children, both in our area and around the country.

"Our boys are just absolutely the joy of our lives," said Amber Williams, who has three sons with downs syndrome, two of which are adopted.

"There may be challenges, and while it may be terrifying at first, at the end of the day, our kids are kids," Williams continued.

To now see Warren's smiling face on America's best-known brand of baby food is a spoonful of hope for her family.

"It's acceptance and value that our children are worthy and our children our beautiful. Our children may be different, but that's not a bad thing," she said.

The groundbreaking ad was the buzz around the blocks, and the bathtub, at Tallahassee's Learning Pavilion.

"It's a beautiful start to a much bigger conversation," said Kim Sineath, the Learning Pavilion's senior director.

"It really made me emotional and warmed my heart," said Summer Robertson, who's daughter, Aubrey, faces epilepsy and other challenges. Robertson says hit's hard to put into words the impact of seeing Warren become a national spokesbaby.

"The majority of me is just so excited to see that, and the other part of me is a little sad because I feel like there's not enough," she continued.

Other parents say they are seeing more national retailers feature folks with special needs in their advertising, and they hope this is just the beginning.

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