A Pageant Just for Special Needs Children

June 26, 2013  |  
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HBO recently premiered the documentary Miss You Can Do It and it’s incredibly touching that this program exists. The pageant was specially created for girls with special needs by Abby Curran, the first woman with a disability to compete for Miss USA. Curran was born with cerebal palsy.

The film’s creator, Ron Davis, focused on the contestants as they competed this year in Kewanee, Illinois. Writes Neil Genzlinger for the New York Times,

“…part of what makes it affecting is the sheer range of the disabilities represented: cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, spinal muscular atrophy and many more. Some contestants can’t walk or can do so only with difficulty. Others can’t speak or can barely be understood when they do. All of them, though, seem jazzed by the pageant experience.

The girls compete in casual wear, evening gown and interview segments, and the judges Ms. Curran has recruited beautifully combine sensitivity, patience and respect. Girls come from all over for the event. Some come every year.”

As much as it gives the girls a special chance to feel beautiful, it’s also important for parents who get to come together with people who understand their lives. Part of HBO’s Summer Documentary series, Miss You Can Do It is a different kind of must-see from the movie.

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