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Jared is a stage and voice actor, works at a restaurant, takes classes at Fullerton College, and runs a business with his friends. He also has Down syndrome.


“What do you think smells better?”

“I think that smells better. Lavender and vanilla. Wow.”

“Jared’s always been a busy guy.”

“Hey Jared, you ready to go?”

“Whether it’s been in sports, or acting, or just in general with all his friends, there’s not a moment that he’s not going someplace.”

“Well, for the candle business, we took a class. We also made candles for Christmas presents. That’s how it began.”

“Thursdays are rough. Gone all day, come home and go to work. And then soccer practice.”

“I know.”

“So how was your day?”


“Was it?”

“Yeah, of course.”

“I have two separate classes. And, of course, I have to read a new chapter. And the one you just met, Tiej, he is in my reading class.”

“Here’s the mint that we made.”

“They do smell real good.”

“We just put all three minds into one. That’s how it kind of happened.”

“So are you excited to go to work today?”

“I am a host. It is called Lascar’s Restaurant. I know it’s not a really big place, but we do have a really big sign. I’ve been working here six years. And I really like it here. But it’s always busy, doing something.”

“I think there are some booths that are open I think.”


“I think so.”

“I love gelato. I do. It’s always the best. I have so many friends that do work there, too. And they know that I have a disability, also. And they have accepted me, also, while at my work. But the best part at work is that I do get tips a lot. And I do get paid.”

“It’s just a pleasure to be around him. He makes me laugh a lot more than I ever cry. Because I don’t cry much. But I do laugh a lot with him, huh?”


“He can get a little stubborn. But, you know, my wife says that about me too. So-“

“It goes through the family, yes.”

“It is a little extra work, and time. But the rewards are so much greater. It can be very frustrating at times, but- “

“Oh, yes.”

“But I would get frustrated with my other son, too. So what I’d like other people to know about Down syndrome is hopefully not to just judge them right away on their appearance, and thinking of what they’re able to do and not able to do.”

“Well, I would mostly say never let anyone put you down. Be yourself. You are born this way. Never give up. Never say the R-word, and just be yourself.”

Originally published: October 25, 2017
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