News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Book Teaches Acceptance:
Young Man with Down Syndrome Asks “What Is Normal?”

CHANDLER, AZBryan Lambke was born in 1981 with Down syndrome, a disability that affects children in one of every 800-1,000 births. Bryan, with the help of his father Tom, has just authored I Just Am, a book that is both charming and disarming, one that offers an insight into his world.

An avid sports enthusiast, Bryan was just eight years old when he first competed in the track and field events of the Illinois Special Olympics. Fourteen years later, he stood atop the winner's platform at the 2003 International Special Olympics in Dublin, Ireland. He is drawn to the competition, camaraderie, and acceptance he finds in the Special Olympics.

Elsewhere throughout his life, however, Bryan has had to endure the stares and whispers of those insensitive to his feelings. And he wants you to know that he does have feelings. I Just Am is a collection of photos of Bryan as he's grown up accompanied by Bryan's observations and questions that provide a window into his world.

I have a disability, says Bryan. It is not my fault. I just am.The book shows readers that Bryan has the same emotions, likes and dislikes, and aspirations as everyone else. "Isn't that normal?" he asks. Then he points out that he doesn't steal, put on an act, or try to deceive. Would that we were all that normal.

Bryan, now 23 years old, holds down two jobs, loves swimming, playing basketball, and bowling, has two girlfriends, and loves to sing and dance. Most of all, he wants to be accepted, and that's why he and his dad wrote I Just Am: A Story of Down Syndrome Awareness & Tolerance. In addition to Bryan's story, the book includes some insightful information about Down syndrome that is sure to debunk some old myths. The book also features a foreword by Shannon D. R. Ringenbach, Ph.D., from Arizona State University's Department of Kinesiology, and a special introduction by Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, daughter of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, whose sister had Down syndrome.

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Fact Sheet

Authors: Bryan and Tom Lambke
Publisher: Morelos Press / Vandelay Publications
Price: $15.95 / Paperback / Non-fiction
Size: 9 x 6 / 112 pages / paperback, perfect-bound
Pub Date: 2006
ISBN: 978-0-9750404-2-2
eISBN: 978-0-9750404-3-9

WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?

All too often, we shroud ourselves in ignorance, thus preventing us from learning from others whom we consider to be somehow different.In his book I Just Am: A Story of Down Syndrome Awareness and Tolerance, Bryan Lambke, a young man with Down syndrome, invites us into his world where he lets us know he shares the same dreams and emotions as everyone else.

My name is Bryan. I have a disability. It's not my fault. I just am ... I do not look like normal. But what is normal? ... I dream. I hope. I have plans. I have goals. Isn't that normal? Or is it? I don't lie. I don't cheat. I don't steal. Now that's not normal. I don't try to deceive. I don't put on an act. I just try to be me. Maybe I'm not normal. I'm not perfect. Who is? I look different. Doesn't everyone? I don't get it. Do you? What is normal? I just am.

A gold medal winner in the International Special Olympics, Bryan loves his mom and dad and his sister, holds down two jobs, loves sports, and has girlfriends. He invites readers to look at his life and at theirs. Then he asks, What is normal?

WHAT MAKES THIS BOOK UNIQUE?

  • This book is the author's perspective. These are Bryan's thoughts, crafted into words with the help of his father, Tom.
  • The additional information about Down syndrome that is provided in the book is important for readers to to learn the truth to help make misconceptions about Down syndrome quickly disappear.

Suggested Interview Questions

  1. What exactly is Down syndrome and what causes it?
     
  2. What are some of the difficulties you've faced in raising a child with Down syndrome? What are some of the joys you've experienced with Bryan?
     
  3. How did other members of your family react when they learned that Bryan had Down syndrome?
     
  4. How have strangers reacted to Bryan?
     
  5. Have the reactions you've encountered changed over the years? If so, why do you think that is?
     
  6. How have you learned to deal with the insensitivity of others? How has Bryan learned to handle it?
     
  7. What has Bryan taught you and your family?
     
  8. How did the idea for this book come about?
     
  9. How is Bryan doing today? What are his goals?
     
  10. Why do you think it is important to keep I Just Am available for purchase?