Meet Little Grace: A 7-Year-Old With Down Syndrome That Has A Successful Modeling Career
There is a stigma against people with special needs that often prevents them from receiving the same level of attention and accreditation as others; thankfully, times are changing, and frontrunners like 7-year-old Grace Isabella Wharton are paving the way for a new generation that shows people with special needs are just like everyone else, even if their brains and looks are a bit different.
Grace is a model. She is a shiny, sparkling, 7-year-old blonde with a smile that can make any room shine. She also has Down syndrome.
She is currently under contract with Zebedee Management, which has more than 300 clients with special needs. Children and adults with Down syndrome and other mental disabilities are often considered to be outlaws in society.
While familiarity is the first step toward acceptance and, ultimately, inclusion, we need more exposure for people with Down’s Syndrome to truly become welcomed and celebrated members of society. Their differences make them unique, and Grace is showing people one photoshoot at a time that people with Down syndrome are just as valid as anyone else.
Grace has modeled since her signing for Disney, CBeebies and BBC. It all started when her mother took her to a photo opportunity for people with disabilities. Seeing Grace in advertising campaigns other than Down syndrome is refreshing. Instead of just using it to talk more about her condition, Grace normalizes the presence of people with Down syndrome in their daily lives.
They may need help, but people with Down syndrome can still lead an active life and contribute significantly to their communities.
“Grace has gone through a lot since she was born, she had major surgery, but she was never really sick,” Cheryl said.
Grace is still struggling with poor muscle tone, so she has trouble producing the sounds necessary for word formation.
“It is very important for us to get the message across that she is just a little girl who happens to have Down Syndrome. It’s no big deal, she is a feisty little girl and will always just be our daughter,” Cheryl said.
Cheryl’s father, John, added, “She’s always come through everything that she was faced with. She’s our little fighter.”