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Artist with Down Syndrome featured in museum

Georgia residents may not be familiar with the art featured in a San Francisco museum, but families affected by disabilities will likely find an interest. In 1950, a young girl, aged seven, became a ward of the state and spent the next 35 years in a state institution. At that time, parents were persuaded to institutionalize their children if they had disabilities such as Down Syndrome. Her twin sister has recently written a book about their experiences as a family struggling with a missing member.

In her time at the hospital, the staff failed to realize that she had lost her hearing following scarlet fever, despite her difficult behavior. After the state institution system was shut down, the twin learned that she could become her sister's guardian and guarantee her love and proper care. She was working as a nurse, but enrolled her sister in art classes. Though at first she did not seem interested in the activities, eventually she became interested in sculpture.

With her confidence in art, her sister said, she became more herself, and began wearing jewelry and scarves, showing more personality than she had been abel to in the past. Since then, she has created 200 sculptures which were recently featured at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Families with disabled children may not know that there are many resources and options open to them. Speaking with an experienced Social Security disability attorney can help to present methods to gain funding and benefits in order to give disabled loved ones the opportunity to shine as this woman has.

Source: The Atlantic, "Where Great Art Transcends Disability," Amelia Rachel Hokule'a Borofsky, Dec. 13, 2012

 

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