Sean Stutman is, in many ways, a very typical 5-year-old boy. He loves to play with cars and blocks. He loves to hang out with his siblings and friends. He loves any sport with a ball. He does his chores every day just like his brothers and sister. He loves to read and, occasionally, watch videos with his family. And likes to help in the kitchen!
So what makes Sean special? A few things!
Well, for one, Sean was born with Down’s Syndrome. This created an injury to his brain as well as a few other medical problems. But this has not stopped Sean.
To help him become the best he can be, his family has him do lots and lots of exercise and education each day. With them, rain or shine, Sean walks, runs or hikes two miles every single day of the week!
Sean is homeschooled by his mom and, with her, he reads several books each day. They also do memory work. And this is where a very special talent of his began!
You see, Sean really LOVES geography. He loves learning about countries, states and capitals. In fact, he likes them so much, that at 6 years old, he has memorized every United States capital, every European capital and every South American capital. Asia, Africa and the Middle East are next on his hit list!
Sean’s talent for knowing capitals was recently put on display at a Geography Bee Contest put on by his homeschool community. Sean competed against two ‘Straight A’ Middle School and High School Students. He wound up tied for 1st place with the High Schooler after they each correctly named every US capital! And he was not even feeling well this night!
Sean is a great example of a young person who uses hard work, grit and their own unique ‘superpowers’ to become their best self.
You can see one Sean’s superpowers on display in this video of the Geography Bee:
Sean is a great example of how all young people can develop their gifts and talents with effort! Now check out some resources below to see how you can develop your own special talents!
- Watch other great IMK stories about children and adults who exhibit perseverance or who have special needs
- Read IMK’s list of great quotes for kids about the importance of hard work and doing your best
- Learn more about Down Syndrome and what it’s like to have Down Syndrome
- Learn about the amazing physical and educational program that Sean follows each day which was developed by The Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential (IAHP)
- Sean is not the only young person who has a special talent for Geography! Check out Nate Seltzer, a regular guest on The Ellen Show!
Topics for Discussion:
- Do you think of Sean as having a disability?
- What is one lesson you can learn and apply in your own life from Sean?
- What special gifts and talents do you have?
- Find a child with special needs in your school or neighborhood and try to become their friend.
- Think about a big goal that you have. It could be for school, for family, or any other important area of your life. Write it down, using this goal worksheet or create your own worksheet. Keep track of your progress, stick with it and reward yourself when you have completed it. Keep doing this and you will be surprised at how much you can achieve.
Teacher and Parent Features:
- Here are some great insights and tips on educating children with Down Syndrome by special ed teacher and Aunt extraordinaire Marianne Young, who is homeschooling her beautiful niece Felicity.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.