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Rob Batezel

Hi! I'm Rob Batezel. I'm 32 years old and work as a shop assistant/welder at a local welding shop.  I've worked here full-time for the last 9 years.  I graduated from High School in 2009 from an Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School with my High School Diploma and 16 college credits from a High School program connected to the local Community College.  I went to 4 years of college and earned 6 welding certificates.  Vocational Rehabilitation helped pay for some of my college.  Then they helped me get my job at Distinctive Welding.  I still live at home with my parents because housing is so expensive in Fort Collins, but I pay for all of my other bills and just paid off my truck.  I get medical insurance from Medicaid buy-in program and that has worked very well for me. 

I was born almost 7 weeks early and was in the hospital for two and one half weeks while I was dealing with beta strep.  I was diagnosed with mDs during that time because the doctors recognized a simian crease the night I was born.  I had low muscle tone which was eventually attributed to being born prematurely.  I also had brushfield spots, hyperflexibility, a space between my toes and chronic ear infections.  I was eventually diagnosed with Language and Learning Disabilities and ADD without hyperactivity.  I qualified for services in school because of my LD and ADD diagnoses, not my mDS diagnosis.  I started in Early Intervention programing at two months and was in a fully inclusive preschool from three to five.  I attended full day pre-kindergarten at five and kindergarten at six.  In the 6th grade, I started into an Expeditionary Learning Outward Bound School which I loved.  I had Resource Support and Speech/Language Services from three years of age and up but my Mom is a SLP, so you could say I've been in good hands since I was a baby.  Through the years I participating in Fast Forward, a Metronome Program and recreational sports.  I earned my Eagle Scout when I was fifteen.  My Eagle Project was creating a wetlands by my school with the help of about 250 students and community folks.

I have volunteered in my church since the seventh grade.  I was the first student with special abilities to complete the year long training program that allowed me to help lead the kids church program at our mega-church.  I fought hard to be included in this program and was involved throughout High School, on my breaks during college, and when I moved back home to become an adult leader.  People say I have huge heart.  I've volunteered with People Helping People to help vets and victims of domestic abuse find housing and I've gone on numerous mission trips all over the world.

As you can see, I'm an active participant in my community and church.  I live a full life and I feel content.  I love to inspire people. Many of you have read my autobiography.  If you would like a copy, please reach out to me at

International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association

PO Box 321, Grand Haven, MI, 49417
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