Six-year-old girl with Down’s syndrome made into a doll

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Rosie KneenImage source, Jason Kneen
Image caption,
Rosie Kneen, from Ludgershall, was chosen by Lottie Dolls as the model for its new Rosie Boo doll

A six-year-old girl from Wiltshire with Down's syndrome is the model for a new doll, by a toy company.

Rosie Kneen, from Ludgershall, was chosen by Lottie Dolls as the model for its new Rosie Boo doll.

A one-off doll, inspired by Rosie, was made by the firm last year after the family built a giant Lottie Doll Treehouse in their garden.

The doll has now gone into production and Rosie's father, Jason, said: "It looks a lot like her and she loves it."

Image source, Jason Kneen
Image caption,
During lockdown last summer, Rosie's family surprised her by building one of her favourite toys - a giant Lottie's Wooden Doll Treehouse - in their garden

Mr Kneen, said the new doll was based on photographs of his daughter after she cut her own hair.

"She cut her own fringe last year, so it's got her hair from then," he said.

"But seeing the two of them together, especially before her hair grew out, she looked just like the doll."

He said they were "thrilled" Rosie Boo had been made into a doll and it was "really wonderful" to see Down's syndrome being represented like this.

"The doll has even got odd socks on because it's odd socks day on Sunday, for Down Syndrome day," he said.

Image source, Jason Kneen
Image caption,
When the company heard the story, they offered to make and sell a doll inspired by Rosie

Ian Harkin, from the company, said it was "extremely important kids play with a diverse toy box".

"Working with child psychologists we have learnt how playing with toys with differences helps develop empathy in kids," he said.

"And it's incredibly powerful for kids to be able to see a doll in their likeness."

A donation from each doll sold will go towards supporting local Down's syndrome charity, Andover Twenty1.

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