Woman with Down syndrome lives life to the fullest
We live in an enlightened age for people living with Down syndrome.
That's according to a local language and speech pathologist whose own daughter is a shining example of how true it is.
Hannah Hicks is a singer, dancer, artist, and entrepreneur who lives life to the fullest.
Singing while she works, Hannah prepares greeting cards for delivery.
Each one gets its pop of colour from her paintings.
“It's like a computerized stencil,” said Hannah Hicks. “It’s very cool how it all coordinates together.”
Hannah hopes to make a living from this venture someday soon and she's off to a good start.
Right now, the cards are sold online and in five provinces, but there's much more to this 20-year-old than just business.
Hicks loves to dance and uses that training to compliment another passion...
“Seeing as I have a huge dance background (it) incorporates so well into my rhythmic gymnastics,” Hannah said.
Yet she still finds time for voice lessons too.
She has a certain joy about her, andso does her mother and business partnerJill Hicks.
“My mom really supports me,” Hannah says. “She's really proud of me and what I'm doing with my life. She's my best friend and we do everything together. We're like a team.”
Jill says she and Hannah have a special relationship.
“I was a speech and language pathologist before I had Hannah and then when Hannah was born, I had a special interest in people with Down syndrome because of her.”
Hearing issues and trouble understanding sounds are very common in children living with Down syndrome, including Hannah, whose speech was delayed.
So Jill developed a system called sign sounds to help. She uses it in her own practice specializing in Down syndrome clients exclusively.
“I work with people as young as infants right up through adults,” says Jill.
Hannah agrees she’s lucky to have her mom, but also that her mom might have found her calling because of Hannah.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Jayson Baxter.