Count Us In by Jason Kingsley and Mitchell Levitz,Harcourt Books, 2007.
The groundbreaking, stereotype-changing book, Count us In was originally written in the early 90s by two young men, Jason Kingsley (age 19) and Mitchell Levitz (21), who have Down syndrome. It is their view of life, relationships and other things that were important to them. It is an interesting book, giving not only an insight into two young people with Down syndrome but also an understanding of the early years of inclusion and the times not that long ago when parents were told to leave their baby in an institution and “tell your family and friends that he died in childbirth”.
This book has been re-issued with an afterword by the two men, now in their thirties, and their mothers, telling what has happened in their lives in the subsequent years. It is a great look into the possibilities and realities of life for adults with Down syndrome. At the time that Kingsley and Levitz wrote the book, they did so with the mission to be inspirational role-models for others with Down syndrome, to show people what they could achieve and to show others that they are just like everyone else. They have certainly succeeded and the book remains relevant and inspiring.
Interview with Kingsley and Levitz for The Jewish Week
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