October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the accomplishments and special talents from this community. According to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) approximately one in every 700 babies is born with Down Syndrome. In the past, many people have wrongly believed that most with Down Syndrome have severe cognitive delays that limit their abilities - but as many with Down Syndrome have proven, this is definitely not the case. Most people with Down Syndrome have only mild to moderate intellectual delays and each person holds their own unique strengths and talents.
Enter 14 year old Sophia Pineda, budding artist and entrepreneur who happens to have Down Syndrome. NBC News reports about Pineda’s many talents and the online business her parents, Andre Pineda and Carol-Kando Pineda, are helping her create to show off and sell her beautiful artwork.
*Painting by Sophia Pineda
Once Sophia's parents recognized her passion for sketching and painting last summer, they did what any proud parent would do - they began posting photos of her work on social media. Little by little, people began commenting that they would like to purchase her work, or that they would love to see the prints on notecards or posters.
*Painting by Sophia Pineda, Photo courtesy of Carol-Kando Pineda's Facebook*
That’s when they had the idea for Sophiola, an online store that will sell prints, posters, notecards and even handbags with artwork all done by Sophia. Carol explains the idea for selling Sophia’s work in an interview, “This is something that she loves and she really is good at it, so let’s see if we can give her that little bit of a boost.” The family hopes the business venture will also give Sophia some independence and confidence to continue creating her amazing art. Sophia’s artwork will be available at Sophiola.com starting in 2018, so look out for this dynamite talent next year.
*Painting by Sophia Pineda
Who do you want to celebrate this Down Syndrome Awareness Month? Tell us about them in the comments below!
My little student at school Jennifer she has a great talent of making my day great everyday!!! Love her wish I had a little girl just like her of my own.
To all those families with those suffering, I know often you question why. You wonder what else you could do, what more you can do. You are doing an amazing job, you are supportive and loving. You are giving of yourself and that is the greatest challenge and gift. You are remarkable and you deserve everything.
Awesome!! My daughter Amelia has Down syndrome and she's 14 too! She's an incredible photographer, the truest friend and is the most helpful teen I've ever met. She's started high school this year, and I can't wait to see how she is going to blossom!
My Dear Uncle Mike - who was one of the sweetest people on Earth. He was always ready to lend a helping hand to anyone, and especially loved animals.