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Meet Ellen Jane Peterson............

           Ellen Jane is a 17 year old high school senior who was born with down syndrome.
            Down syndrome causes delays in physical and intellectual development.
            Ellen Jane puts it this way, "All down syndrome means is that it takes me longer
            to learn things."
           Most of the day Ellen Jane spends time in a regular classroom with other kids
           and the rest of the day she goes to a resource room to reinforce her skills.
           Ellen Jane enjoys swimming, being a member of a community club for girls
           with down syndrome, playing sports, and working part time at the animal hospital
           She has an older sister, a younger brother, and a pet snake named George!

Mental Retardation Script

"Who's George?"

When Melody visits Ellen Jane, she is surprised that Ellen Jane has a pet snake. Melody is afraid to touch George, the snake, but relents after Ellen Jane explains that snakes are smooth, not slimy like many people believe. This triggers a conversation about people fearing others who may be a bit different from themselves.