Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Making Your Mark: Grocery dance

by LaSalle Blanks from ABC 13 News Now:
Virginia Beach -- A father, daughter dance isn't unusual. It is if it's in an aisle at the grocery store. That's exactly what happened when Dave Floyd took his 11 year-old daughter, Lauren, to Food Lion in Virginia Beach.
"That's a typical day at the grocery store," Dave said. "She wanted to dance and I pulled the phone out."
After posting it on Facebook, 24 hours later Dave's and his daughter's video had more than 30,000 likes.
"This just went crazy," Dave said. "I couldn't believe the reaction to a simple thing like shopping at the grocery store."
Dave hopes the video can help change perceptions. His daughter Lauren has Down Syndrome. But in the video, she also has a big smile, energy and joy. Dave wants people to see that in the video.
"I want them to see a typical child," he said.
Dave's video has gotten many favorable comments from people all over -- much different from comments and gestures they've endured in the past.
"We get looks sometimes when we're out and about," Dave said. "People look at her and make funny looks. I've even had people turn their children away from us thinking she had some sort of virus and was contagious or something."
"They'll say she's retarded," Dave said. "It hits hard."
Dave is part of a group looking to change perceptions and negative thoughts when it comes to special needs children. "The Changing Face of Beauty" is on a "15 in 15" campaign -- to get 15 major companies to use 15 special needs children in ads or commercials like Target recently did with a girl with down syndrome named Izzy. They've made progress. So far, one company has already committed to using special needs children in its ads -- "Infantino".
"If you never really had the time to spend with somebody with Down Syndrome, you just don't know what joy you can get out of it," Dave said. "I've had a lot of people comment or message me saying you're a great dad. This isn't about being a great dad, it's just our relationship. It's me being me and her being her. It's awesome."

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