Dad hopes short film will break down stigma surrounding Down syndrome
A Nova Scotia father and filmmaker hopes a short film about his son and daughter will help break down the stigma surrounding Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.
Max Anderson and his sister Libby are the subjects of the film, “I Love Grilled Cheese,” which has been selected to screen at a New York film festival this weekend.
“Max is a very happy child and he just loves to make other people happy,” says their father, Scott Anderson.
Max lives with Down syndrome and Libby was adopted from China. The four-year-olds were born just two months apart and Anderson says the pair is inseparable.
He says Max and Libby’s special bond inspired him to document a day in their life.
“Most people don’t realize it’s not so much a burden, but a joy to live with someone who has Down syndrome,” says Anderson.
The video was created for the Canadian Down Syndrome Society and has been selected to screen at the Sprout Film Festival in New York.
The festival screens films featuring people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“They don’t want people portraying those people,” says Anderson. “People with disabilities are quite capable of fulfilling that role themselves.”
According to the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, about 90 per cent of parents who are expecting a child with Down syndrome opt for an abortion.
Anderson hopes his film will change that statistic.
“I was hoping that if someone out there that was pregnant and had a diagnosis, that they might have a child with a diagnosis of Down syndrome, that they would see that and think it's going to be OK,” he says.
“People who have disabilities, whatever their disabilities, have value and can add something to your life.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Alyse Hand