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  • "I kept thinking, if I had a tweezer and I could pick the extra chromosome out of every cell in his body, I would do it..."

  • Emily Perl Kingsley is an Emmy-winning writer for Sesame Street, where she has been writing since 1970 and has been instrumental in working to include people with disabilities on the show. Her son Jason was born in 1974 with Down syndrome.

    I interviewed Emily about parenting Jason and working to change limited beliefs about what people with Down syndrome are capable of. In this excerpt, she describes the moment when she made a commitment to Jason, and first understood that he was a person who could learn.

    Listen to more stories from Emily:

    This is an excerpt from an interview I conducted for my thesis in the Oral History Master of Arts program at Columbia University. The interview took place in Briarcliff, New York, on October 22, 2012. Upon completion of my thesis in October 2013, the full interview will be included in the Columbia University Academic Commons, and submitted to the the Regional Oral History Office at the University of California, Berkeley, for inclusion in the Disability Rights and Independent Living Movement archive.
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