This is Dan and he has down syndrome :)


This is my brother Dan.  He is 16.  He’s pretty cool.  I asked him to tell me some interesting facts about himself and the first thing he told me was he has Down Syndrome.   Or DS as he calls it.

He’s smart, he’s funny (or at least he thinks he is), he’s interesting, he likes to be the center of attention, he’s stubborn and he thinks he’s tougher than he is.  😉

He loves photos of himself and even told me he is full of himself.   Apparently he’s been told that a time or two.  So when I suggested a photo shoot when he was visiting, he was pretty pumped about it.   He told mom to pack his nice clothes for our session.

We started out with the dress shirt and tie.  The big smile in the photo below is when he figured out he was also being video taped.  The one thing he loves more than photos of himself is video 😉    (Video coming soon…. )

16 year old down syndrome portrait session16 year old down syndrome portrait session

You see this big smile a lot on this kid 🙂

16 year old down syndrome portrait sessionDan portrait sessionI asked him some interview questions for my blog post.  Mostly favorite things.

He loves music and he loves to sing.  His top 5 favorite singers are:
1.  Jesse McCartney
2.  Selena Gomez
3.  Kelly Clarkston
4.  Jonas Brothers
5.  Miley Cyrus

He knows most of the words to most of the songs he listens too.   He thinks he’s the next American Idol.

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His Favorite Books:
1.  Harry Potter  — and in this order:   Chamber of Secrets, Order of Pheonix, Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows.
His favorite chapters in his favorite book are 7-17 in Chamber of Secrets.   He named off the title of every single chapter and could tell you exactly what happens in each chapter even if you randomly asked him.  He has a slight obsession with Harry Potter and I’m pretty sure he has read through them 10 times over.

2.  Twilight (the first book)
3.  The 5 ancestors series
4.  The Card Turner
5.  Holes
6.  Island of Blue Dolphins
7.   Fantasy books

He loves to read and loves the library.  He makes very frequent trips to the library.

16 year old down syndrome portrait session16 year old down syndrome portrait session16 year old down syndrome portrait session16 year old down syndrome portrait session

Favorite animals:
Marine Life
Little bit penguins because they are stinky
Mammals   (His favorite to study)
Little bit reptiles
Hates:  bugs, mice and mice traps

16 year old down syndrome portrait session

When he grows up he wants to:
1.  Be a photographer   (this is a new one… guess he likes what I do 😉   )   He used to want to be a veterinarian.
2.   Be a storm chaser
3.   Sing on American Idol
4.  Bag groceries at VG’s
5.  He wants to go to college in the U.P. after graduation

His favorite people:
He said everyone.   But we all know it’s our brother Brett 😉

Favorite Foods:
Dad’s cooking  (fast food)
A little bit of Mom’s cooking
Anything BBQ
Mac & Cheese  (His own recipe where he adds ketchup, american cheese, garlic and salsa)

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This is what happens when he starts doing his own posing…..

16 year old down syndrome portrait session

Favorite things to do:

  • Exercise  (He exercises almost every day and actually has a lot of muscle.   His favorite work out videos right now are Jillian Michaels.  You can find him working out for hours at a time.  He’s a maniac! )
  • Playing basketball with his brother Brett
  • Swimming at night
  • Watching Detroit Tigers
  • Going to Brett’s softball games (early or late games)
  • Going to the library
  • Shopping with Mom (He likes to practice his life skills at stores)
  • He loves cameras and he loves playing with the live cam
  • Reading
  • Sing!  He told me he does a concert 5 days at home for himself and sometimes on Saturday morning too (because Dad works and he doesn’t like his music loud)
  • Read Animal books and write facts about them
  • Watching nature videos
  • learning about space stuff like planets and stars
  • Star Gaze
  • Watch the weather
  • Call people on the phone  (He calls me to ask how far the kids are in Harry Potter, he calls Kaitlin and Gretchen on Tuesdays and Fridays, he calls Amanda on Skype and he calls Jennifer to see how life is going for her)


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I asked Dan to tell me some interesting facts about himself:

  • He has Down syndrome
  • He likes to be healthy
  • He’s a good reader
  • I’m a cool guy  (he says)
  • He once got pink braces for breast cancer awareness
  • He also got yellow and blue braces for Michigan
  • He LOVES school!  Science is his favorite subject but he really loves it all.
  • He will be a junior this fall

16 year old down syndrome portrait session16 year old down syndrome portrait session
Everyone needs a Dan in their life!  I wish he lived closer so I could spend more time with him.   He’s a great kid and loved by many!



30 Replies to “This is Dan and he has down syndrome :)”

  1. you are blessed! My nephew Ethan has ds and he is the most fabulous (although trying at times) kid….he turned 4 in February. Your Dan is an inspiration and I wish him luck in whatever he chooses to do. With his attitude I can’t imagine him not succeeding!

    thanks for sharing him with us!

  2. Love each and every one – really enjoyed the interview q&a too!

    dang. I forgot to check the box indicating that I’m human….

  3. This is great! I was laughing at some of his answers and thinking about all of the stories that he used to tell me. I miss that kid!

  4. Oh dan, this is halarious! He looks great! love the shots! too bad he didn’t have nicer shoes, his sketchers have seen better days

  5. Seriously loved all of these pictures! I miss Dan the Man (but not his loud music).
    The interview was awesome, he cracks me up!

  6. Story about his Skechers. Dan refuses to learn to tie his shoes. Velcro is easier! Paul and Robert taught Dan how to tie at our reunion last summer. He walked up just as I was telling his mom that he learned. She said “DAN, you learned to tie??!! Dan: “no”, he was not too happy that I told her. I am guessing he “forgot” how since he is still wearing his velcro Skechers…….
    Great photos!!!

  7. So sweet Emily!! What a great kid and very smart 🙂 God brings us these great kids, because we need somebody extra special in our lives.

  8. This is perfect! A blessing indeed :). I agree that everyone could use a Dan in their lives.

  9. Thanks Emily for sharing. You did a great job and yes Dan has touched more lives than he will ever know. I love that kid!

  10. Danny is so adorable! He’s so funny and nice. He’s not shy at all and will go talk to any random group!

  11. Oh Em, these are great – love the ones of him grinning big. Plus you gotta love the self-posed pics as well. His winning attitude and confidence will get him far.

  12. Oh Man……we REALLY should have got those new shoes before we headed north! Love these pictures and the interview!

  13. Love that kid. Great post and pictures! He rode home with me yesterday and read to me for probably 4 hours straight in the car! He got to chapter 17 in Holes. I enjoyed it and I’d never read the book before. I asked him a couple of times if he wanted to take a break but he always said, ‘No.’ But as we got closer to home, he said he needed to stop because he was starting to lose his voice! haha.

    And, that punk. He never calls me. I wish he did! But he occasionally answers the phone when I call home and we BS for a bit. I wish he’d call me more!

    He was talking about this post on the way home and said he couldn’t wait to see it and he hopes there are “all kinds of comments saying ‘He’s cute!'” and he was hoping girls would write “He’s so charming! I want to marry him.” 🙂 He always cracks me up.

    We were walking into the grocery store together the other day and there were a handful of girls around his age giving carts to people and he immediately turned on the cool and walked by all nonchalant with a swagger and wave saying ‘hey’ (all drawn out). He loves to schmooze with the ladies!

  14. What an awesome post! He certainly knows what he likes and what he does like he knows all about it! 🙂 He is truly an inspiration to us all. I’m going to be coming back to this post many times when I need a boost in morale. I especially like the pictures when the light is hitting his chin just right and you can see the whiskers trying to make an appearance! Every 16 year old boys’ aspiration … to have whiskers and to shave! I work with your mother in law and she told me about your site many months ago. I check it often and love what I see. Thank you for sharing your talent.

  15. These are awesome pictures Emily… sure do a fabulous job! I can’t help but smile at all of these pictures and the interview also! We have Kent who has ds, he just turned 6, and he is such an unspeakable gift in our home 🙂

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