PHOENIX (KSAZ) - On Wednesday, Gerber announced it has picked its new spokesbaby, and the announcement is making history, as the 18-month-old, identified as Lucas Warren, is the first spokesbaby with Down Syndrome.
On the heels of Gerber's announcement of a new spokesbaby, families with kids who have Down Syndrome say Gerber's decision is a step in the right direction, when it comes to fighting the stigma of having a special needs child.
On the surface, Sloane, 4, is just like any other children her age. She's curious, and she enjoys playtime. However, Sloane was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at just three months old.
"It was scary. Shocking," said Carrie Hupp, Sloane's mother. "You know, you think have brought your baby home and things are just going to steam right along, just like they do with every other baby that parents have."
For Hupp, however, Sloane's diagnosis brought a roller coaster of emotions.
"That was a big change in direction for us, but we learned as much as we could, and did as many doctors visits as we could, where she was at," said Hupp.
Nowadays, Hupp says Sloane is like any child. She hits all the milestones, but just at a different pace. Hupp says everything at home is normal.
While Gerber's announcement of a new spokesbaby with Down Syndrome was a first for the company, it is not the first time a toddler with Down Syndrome was featured in an ad, as OshKosh featured a toddler with Down Syndrome in an 2016 ad. Parents like Hupp said they are thrilled about progress in the industry.
"Being a mom with a child with Down Syndrome, you always want your child to be represented," said Hupp. "A huge step in the direction towards acceptance, and acknowledgement that there are kiddos out there that are just like every other kiddo. They might just look a little different."