It's not just the cartoon world that has introduced Down syndrome into the view of the general public's eye. Currently Sesame Street has several children with Down syndrome on it and at least one child with Ds is on nearly everyday. Prime-time shows are now casting actors who happen to have Down syndrome, and they make the regular cast - not just stand in's or guest spots. Take a look at Lauren Potter (Down syndrome Association of Los Angels' member with Down syndrome) - she plays Becky Johnson on T.V.'s hit show GLEE. And WHY NOT? 1 in 660 babies born are born with Down syndrome. A newer updated statistic (from 1:880) that makes a person more likely to have Down syndrome than a person to be born with red hair. Interesting... isn't it? I thought so too, considering that Red hair occurs on approximately 1–2% of the human population (according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_hair) and the world's population of Down syndrome is at 2% and rising.
Take a peek here and read about this new character: http://www.awn.com/news/cartoons/target-wins-global-rights-new-preschool-animation-punky
I am glad that parents and families who watch cartoons with their children, will get to see PUNKY. Perhaps ideas will change when more people are exposed to the realities that Down syndrome isn't an unknown, strange or scary "disability" as some think it is. Visions change when people are forced to realize that Down syndrome exists and they meet face to face with someone who has Ds. Otherwise Ds is an unknown. So perhaps this little cartoon child "Punky" will introduce Down syndrome in a way that is (of course) less threatening - being that he is a cartoon after all!