WACO, Texas – One father is using social media to give others an exclusive look into his life of raising a son with down syndrome, with a Facebook following of close to 300,000 people.
Rick smith uses both his social media platforms Noah’s Dad, and organization Hope Story to create a community showing other parents the blessing of raising a child with down syndrome.
“What we wanted to do is give the world a look. A little window into what life was [like] raising a child with down syndrome,” Smith said.
Smith says when some parents find out they are having a child with down syndrome they won’t bring it to full term.
He and his family have made it their mission to educate, by founding an organization called Hope Story to provide resources for parents who find out their children will be born with down syndrome.
“For us it’s really important that the world see’s people like Noah, his buddies and his friends as people who can make a real contribution to society,” Smith said.
Noah is 10 years old, and shortly after he was born the family began documenting their life through social media.
They have since grown an Instagram following close to 20,000 and a Facebook following of nearly 300,000.
Smith says the community of support they have grown is important, especially for other parents facing the same circumstances.
“This may not be exactly what you expected. And you may have questions, you may have fears, and all that stuff is okay but you don’t have to have those fears alone,” Smith said.
He says the social media community has watched Noah grow up, even recognizing him when he is out.
One place the two wanted to visit is the Bitty and Beau’s Coffee, which is dedicated to changing the way people see others.
With the new one opening in Waco they made a stop and shared their experience on social media.
The post has been liked over 1,000 times with other parents, sharing the impact this special coffee shop is making.
“When you go there you may see someone with down syndrome working the cash register or someone with autism serving you your coffee,” Smith said. “I think what that does, it helps the world see that people like Noah and his friends, they are just like you and I.”
Smith hopes that when people see Noah’s story it will give parents the courage to bring their child to full term even after the doctor’s diagnosis.