I was recently appointed by President Obama to the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. I am so excited that the President trusts me to advise him on things that are important to people with disabilities!
I've had tons of bullies who would call me retarded, even on my Facebook page. It's sad and it really hurts. I want to tell people not to use the word. Don't say your friend's retarded when they do something foolish. If you have a disability, keep working hard. Whatever it takes, do it, and don't be mean to people.
Like so many other kids with special needs, I have been bullied. Kids in elementary school made me eat sand, and those same boys would walk behind me, teasing me. Finally I had enough, and I told them to grow up.
I get mail from people all over the world now from people who tell me that they didn't really understand Down syndrome, but because of me they have read about it and studied it and now they know a lot more about it.
I am on the International Board of Best Buddies, and I am also working with Special Olympics, and with The Arc to help people with disabilities become more independent and more included in their communities.
A long time ago when I was very little, I dreamed about being on stage. Some people told me I would never be able to do it, so I only paid attention to those who told me that I could.
I want to encourage kids to speak up, to tell their stories. That is the only way people will know what we have to go through. Believe in yourself. Someone once told me being different isn't bad - different is just different!
Lots of people with little kids or babies with Down syndrome tell me they aren't afraid of the future for their child because of what I am doing to help people understand it better.
I've spoken in front of members of the U.S. Congress about a new dream of living in communities where everybody is welcome and everyone can live and go to school and work without facing the fear of bullies.
I love working on 'Glee,' and I hope that there are more and more parts for me and other actors with Down syndrome in television and in movies so I can keep working for a long, long time.