Who Am I?

Hi, I’m Marla Murasko! Thanks for stopping by!

When people ask me to share alittle about who I am, I share that:

I am an Award-Winning Down Syndrome Advocate, Speaker, Talk Show Co-Host, Author, Community Builder but my “real” job is Mom! The one I am MOST proud of!

I am native New Jerseyan living in the Boston area with my family. I am a mother to my amazingly determinedson Jacob diagnosed with Down syndrome, stepmother to my incredibly independent stepdaughter Amanda, and wife to my best friend and biggest cheerleader Paul. I have two awesome dogs Bella and Daisy!

What I Do?

So when asked what is it that I do? I share that:

I am passionate about educating society on the acceptance and inclusion for individuals with Down Syndrome. So people see their “capabilities“, not their disabilities.

How do I do this:

  • Speaking at nonprofit events, schools, community events
  • Co-hosting my Facebook Live Talk Show Down Right Capable
  • Being a member of the National Down Syndrome Society Inclusive Education Task Force and being an NDSS DS-Ambassador, attending advocacy events
  • Being a member of the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress Public Awareness Committee
  • Vice-President, of family run nonprofit Special & Determined where we provide financial support to families of children with Down Syndrome so they can access early intervention and therapeutic services
  • Community Builder -I love bringing moms together to help share our stories, provide support, resources and encouragement to each other. Through my private Facebook group “Moms of Down Syndrome” Moms come to have “real conversations” in a safe place.

Why I Do What I Do

The day my son was born, a whole new journey started for me. That of an ADVOCATE! My family and I quickly became his biggest and loudest supporters.

Why? Because he deserves the same opportunities as his peers. Especially in the following areas:

Education – the right to inclusion and access to the curriculum to excel academically. Opportunities to go on to post-secondary education. Challenged to strive for his best!

Healthcare –  access to the best doctors and specialists to thrive and grow. An exhaustive list of supports and resources to assist him.

Employment – the ability to gain the necessary skills to find meaningful and fulfilling jobs with competitive wage.

Community – to be recognized as a valuable member of his community, with plenty of friends and opportunities to grow and learn.

Let’s Partner

Looking for businesses and organizations that want to support my mission of spreading awareness for Down Syndrome and Inclusion. Opportunities in schools, churches, conferences to share how and why I advocate.

Marla’s Story

As a Down Syndrome Advocate, Speaker, Author and Blogger, Marla lives and expresses her passion for Down Syndrome every day. Marla sees firsthand the challenges that individuals with Down Syndrome experience, and knows personally the barriers that parents face when advocating for the rights of their child. Dedicated to spreading awareness for inclusion and understanding for individuals with Down syndrome, she is active on her blog “Musings From A Special Needs Mom” and plays a proactive role in her community and in the classroom.

As a recognized speaker, she has spoken on several different stages, but her proudest moment was when she had the privilege of speaking on the global stage at the United Nations for World Down Syndrome Day in 2017. She loves educating and empowering Moms to find “their advocacy voice”.

Her life’s mission is to help make the world a more accepting place for her son and for all individuals with Down syndrome and it shows in all that she is involved with. So much, that her family will be launching a nonprofit called “Special & Determined”whose mission is to help families of children with Down Syndrome by providing financial support for therapeutic services and early interventions, to build a path to a more accepting and inclusive society, where all individuals with Down Syndrome can contribute.

In addition to her speaking and writing, Marla volunteers in her community as a member of the local Diversity and Cultural Alliance, National Down Syndrome Society – DS Ambassador and is a member of the Communication Task Force of her local Down Syndrome organization.  She was also honored in 2017 with the “Advocating for Another” award from WEGO health.