Nicholas Le Blanc
When Premier Lougheed visited Grande Prairie for the opening ceremonies at Crystal Park School, it was Nicholas LeBlanc that he held in his arms at the statue in front of the school.
Nicholas attended Childhood Development Center at two and a half years old. He was integrated into the public system first at Crystal Park School, and then on to special ed classes at Grande Prairie Composite High School. Nicholas got along well with classmates and had a very good experience at the high school.
Nicholas is the oldest of four children. When referring to the early years with Nicholas, his father, Bryan LeBlanc, admits that it was “a little bit rougher than raising the other children.” There was definitely more work involved in Nicholas’s care but his parents’ approach was to treat Nicholas no differently than their other children.
There were trying times for the family the first week after Nicholas was born. He was flown to Edmonton for surgery and they worried about whether or not he would survive because he weighed only four pounds at the time.
Bryan remembers having to insist on the surgery for Nicholas because the doctor told them that it wasn’t worth doing. The doctor cited examples of children in the U. S. and Europe who were left to die if they had Down Syndrome and suggested that the same treatment apply to Nicholas.
Nicholas now attends the Association’s Developmental Activities Program (DAP) and during the quiet times at the program he can be found singing and acting along with his favourite movies, among them Grease II. He jumps up from the couch to dance along with the actors and has a great time miming all the parts as they play out on the screen.
Nicholas enjoys a good relationship with his brothers and sisters and lives with his family at home for now.