This 15-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Is the Star of Her Own Cartoon — Thanks to Her Dad
Jessica Wills is like any other 15-year-old teenager in Stratford, CT: she tunes out her mom while listening to music, she likes to bake, she navigates through her high school curriculum — all the while trying to figure out which subjects interest her — and she loves One Direction. Jessica also has Down syndrome and is the inspiration behind her dad's remarkable daily cartoon, Just Jessica.
Fred Wills has always drawn funny, poignant comics for his children, but for Jessica — his youngest of five — he uses it as a way to not only show her how "normal" she is, but also highlight how remarkable she is, too. Each cartoon gives heartwarming insight into Jessica's daily life: at school, playing with the family's two cats, and just being a teenager. Speech bubbles show Jessica's tenacious commentary, like, "Tomorrow we eat broccoli! Today is for ice cream!"
Though it began as a fun family activity, Just Jessica has now become a shared social experience since Fred has been posting the cartoons to Facebook as of late. And ultimately, it has added to the conversation about parenting children with special needs with care and innovation.
Click through to see more of Fred's incredibly touching drawings.