The Wednesday Kid

Christopher is an 18-year old boy with Downs Syndrome struggling for identity and social inclusion. I met him through the Shield Institute, an organization that provides training programs for people with intellectual disabilities transitioning to a working environment. When I met him, he had just started his training program at a fast food restaurant in Bayside, Queens. Because he works on Wednesdays, his manager refers to him simply as “the Wednesday Kid.” Chris’ Downs Syndrome is very mild, which positions him at the crossroads of two very different realities. On the one hand, he is able to communicate effectively both verbally and physically. On the other, he lacks some of the critical adaptive skills such as self-care, home living and functional academics, daily living skills needed to live, work and play in the community. The story of Christopher is one of misunderstanding and vulnerability.