“Just Jessica” is a character based on our teenage daughter, Jessica. Jessica is a typical teenager in many ways, but there is one difference. Jessica was born with Down syndrome. Just one extra chromosome. In the world of people with “special needs” and their families there many common themes. Aside from the typical and politically correct themes, there are many issues that only people living with special needs can relate to. That does not mean individuals with special needs want sympathy, condolences or gifts. Everyone knows that God has already blessed us. What has always amazed us is how many people have always needed to approach a special needs person in just that manner. That’s not saying the special considerations, the kindness, hard work and caring are not appreciated or necessary. THEY ARE! There is so much we need your help with. No one loves a hug more than a special needs athlete at the end of a race.
When most people find themselves in situation where they need help or more aptly put, certain “modifications” are necessary, they often feel uncomfortable. Simply stated, the way someone feels when they are singled out, feel unworthy of the attention or reminded of how awkward their lives have become. When this occurs the assistance, special caring and kindness that is given, most typical people frequently feel relieved and grateful, but also uncomfortable. They almost always want the attention drawn away from themselves and their struggles. That could be illness, financial distress or a major loss in their life. “I just want things the way they used to be”, “I just wish this would go away” or “I just want to be treated like everyone else”.
Our daughter Jessica is truly a “blessing from God”. She is a unique snowflake and “special” person. However, in her own words she is “Just Jessica”. In so many ways Jessica thinks, feels and acts like a regular, old fashioned, teenager. The arguments, fears, loves and pains, the acting up and acting out, the body changes, the anxiety, the humor, the full gambit of emotions and trials we all go through are hers. Through it all, she dances gracefully along the thin line of “special needs” and what many refer to as “normal”.
Throughout her and our journeys we would like to share with you our special point of view. Thus, the creation of “Just Jessica”, a character that we believe displays this unique and hilarious life perspective. You’ll relate to her sarcasm, her wit and charm, her special circumstances and how much different she is NOT. More than anything we hope that “Just Jessica” will make you laugh and feel good like when you get a hug!