A nine-year-old schoolgirl with Down’s Syndrome has defied the expectations of doctors who believed she would never be able to walk or talk, and is now the face of a high-end brand Burberry.
Roni Littman, from Potters Bar, has modeled for big brands including River Island, Asda George and TJ MAXX, but her most recent job was with British luxury fashion brand Burberry.
Roni’s mum Shelley, 46, could not be the prouder of her daughter’s achievements and is also delighted that brands are encouraging diversity and becoming more inclusive with their advertisements.
Roni Littman, nine, (pictured) from Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, who has Down’s Syndrome, has been chosen as the latest face of Burberry
‘We were absolutely elated when Roni got the Burberry modeling job,’ Shelley said.
‘I am so proud of her – she has blown all expectations out of the water.
‘When she was born, we were told she may not be able to walk or talk.
‘But she has defined the odds and continues to break boundaries.
‘She has achieved so much in such a short period of time.
‘I am very impressed that high-end brands like Burberry are being inclusive because it is encouraging for other people with disabilities.
Shelley, 46, said Roni (both pictured) has blown all ‘expectations out of the water’ after being initially told that she may never be able to walk or talk
Shelley in the make-up chair at a photoshoot. The youngster has racked up an impressive array of modeling jobs and loves being in front of the camera
Shelley, who is a dog carer, revealed Roni has been chosen to model Burberry’s spring summer 2022 collection (pictured at the shoot)
‘There’s no reason why children with disabilities shouldn’t have these things too.’
Roni can be seen sporting Burberry’s spring summer 2022 collection.
Shelley, who is a dog carer, continued: ‘Down’s syndrome can affect every child differently.
‘Roni did take a while to communicate clearly, but she makes herself very much understood.
Shelley revealed that it can take a while for Roni, pictured getting her nails done for a job, to communicate clearly but she does make herself understood
Shelley said her daughter is ‘a very cheeky, determined and feisty young lady’, who has always loved entertaining people
Shelley said that Roni has gone from ‘strength to strength’ since they sent photos to Zebedee Inclusive Talent Agency
‘She is a very cheeky, determined and feisty young lady.
‘She has always loved the camera and entertaining people.
‘In 2017, we sent some photos to Zebedee Inclusive Talent Agency and ever since she has gone from strength to strength.’
Roni, who is a natural in front of the camera, has refused to let her define her disability.
Shelley said doctors filled she and husband Jon, 49, with negativity about the certain things. Roni may never be able to do but she has proved everyone wrong.
Shelley added: ‘We didn’t know Roni had Down’s syndrome until she was born.
‘We were told she may never be able to do certain things and the doctors filled us with negativity.
‘But she has proved everyone wrong.
‘She started walking at 17 months old and has become a very determined individual so I’m not surprised that she is excelling.
Shelley said Roni started walking at 17 months old and learned how to ski at age five. Pictured: Roni having a ski lesson
Shelley said it can take Roni longer to learn things but she never gives up as she is a determined individual
Shelley revealed that she and husband Jon, 49, are beyond excited to see what the future holds for Roni
Shelley hopes that Roni can inspire other disabled children and adults to follow their dreams
‘Sometimes, it can be difficult for her because she takes longer to learn things but she never gives up.
‘It is an honor and a privilege to have her in our lives.
‘She learned how to ski aged five and put her all into it.
‘My husband Jon, 49, and I are beyond excited to see what the future holds for Roni.
‘We will do her best to help her achieve whatever path she wants to take in the future.
‘We hope Roni can inspire other disabled children and adults to follow their dreams.
‘Roni proves everything is achievable and don’t let things get in your way.’
What is Down’s Syndrome
Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition that typically causes some degree of learning disability and certain physical characteristics.
- Floppiness at birth
- Eyes that slant down and out
- A small mouth
- A flat back of head
Screening tests can uncover Down’s syndrome during pregnancy but are not completely accurate.
It is caused by an extra chromosome in a baby’s cell due to a genetic change in the sperm or egg.
The chance of this increases according to the age of the mother.
A 20-year-old woman has around a one in 1,500 chance of having a baby with Down’s syndrome.
Women in their 40s have a one in 100 chance.
There is no evidence women can reduce their chances of having a child with Down’s syndrome.
Down’s syndrome does not have a cure.
Treatment focuses on supporting the patient’s development.
People with Down’s syndrome have more chance of health complications such as heart disorders, hearing problems, thyroid issues and recurrent infections.
Source: NHS Choices