About Down with Joel

This is a blog about my experiences as a sibling to the best little brother who happens to have down syndrome. We’re here to share our stories, sources, advice, and love!  I love my brother and how he effects my life. He has literally shaped me and has taken control of my life and I want to share it with you!

Get to Know Us:

  • We are five years apart
  • Our parents are from El Salvador
  • We live in NOLA
  • We have a lot to share!


  • Joel is nearing adulthood (how scary!)
  • He loves Marvel and Doctor Who
  • He loves to dance and playbasketball


  • My name is Raquel
  • I work at Louisiana’s PTI (Parent Information and Training Center)
  • I’m a twin
  • Joel is my life

Our Dilemma:

Joel is currently a senior in high school but he can stay until he ages out. The problem with him staying is that he’s not really progressing. It’s been the same thing over and over again. (Although I must admit this year he lucked out and has an amazing teacher that may sway my opinion.) Eventually we want to move him to another school/vocational program but it can be very costly. This may not be until he ages out though.

Louisiana does have a waiver that funds these kind of programs for individuals with disabilities, but they say it’s about a 10 year waiting list that continues to grow.  My family did not know about it until 2014…. Now, because I work in the field that I do, I know that the waiting list is longer than that. They are currently serving people from 2004. That’s 14 years. 14.  The only way the list will get shorter is if people withdraw or ya know… die… (Sounds so dark)

To try and fund Joel’s vocational program, we started making soaps, candles, greeting cards, and more at local craft fairs and flea markets. You can check out some our stuff at our shop or you help us out by donating below.  Thanks.


Donation for Joel’s Vocational Program

Please consider donating or visiting our shop.