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Chris Burke - A Success Story



Chris Burke - A Success Story
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.89

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    chromosome, educational, inaugural, inspiration, moderate, therapy, retardation, facial, education, organization, abnormal, nomination, medical, focus, description, uplift
     content words:    Down Syndrome, Chris Burke, Christopher Burke, Point Lookout, New York, Marian Burke, Up Syndrome, Life Goes On, Corky Thatcher, Golden Globe


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Chris Burke - A Success Story
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Have you ever heard of Down Syndrome? Do you know anyone with Down Syndrome? Down Syndrome is a developmental disorder. Those with this disorder are born with an extra chromosome 21. As a result, physical and mental developments are slower. It occurs in approximately 1 in 1,000 live births. Many of those with this disorder are smaller than those who don't have the disorder. Many have hearing deficits. While each individual is different, most have low muscle tone, flat facial profiles, an upward slant to their eyes, abnormal shape of their ears, and enlarged tongues. Most have mild to moderate retardation. However, they have educational potential. Now that tells you about the scientific and medical side to the disorder. This description might seem so discouraging that it would be hard to hope for any success. However, that doesn't have to be the case.
 
2     Would you want to meet someone with Down Syndrome and hear about his life? How about learning about Chris Burke?
 
3     Christopher Burke was born on August 26, 1965 in Point Lookout, New York. He was born to Frank and Marian Burke. He is one of their four children. He was born with Down Syndrome. The doctor advised Chris' parents to put him in an institution because he would never talk or learn. What do you think his parents did? They didn't listen. They decided to try to support Chris instead. That's not to say that life was always easy. It wasn't. However, his parents sought early education for him. He also benefited from therapy. They helped him to focus on what he could do, not on what he couldn't. With that support, he learned to call Down Syndrome - Up Syndrome.

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