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Picture Perfect: Georgia Mom Fights for Son With Down Syndrome

When 16-month old Asher Nash was rejected for a modeling opportunity because he has Down syndrome, his mom refused to accept it.
IMAGE: Asher Nash
Asher Nash.NBC News

BUFORD, Georgia — All moms think their babies are beautiful, but Meagan Nash believes there is something extra special about her 16-month-old son, Asher.

"When Asher was little, we realized he really likes the camera. He loves the attention," Nash told NBC News.

When Nash spotted a casting call for Carter's clothing for children, she submitted her son's head shots to a modeling agency in Atlanta.

"The agency actually emailed me back and [the agent] said that she had gotten his information, but she wasn't submitting him because the criteria didn't specify they were looking for a baby with special needs," Nash said.

It never occurred to her that Asher's Down syndrome would prevent him from being considered.

Meagan Nash feeds her 16-month-old son, Asher, at their home in Buford, Georgia.NBC News

"When I realized that this happens in the world with advertisement, I was hurt, because here is my little boy — I look at him, and nothing's wrong with him," she said.

Unsure what to do, Nash posted about her experience on her Facebook profile with several snapshots of Asher.

Before long, the post had gone viral.

Advocates for people with disabilities say the enormous reaction shows that society's idea of beauty is evolving and that companies need to evolve with it.

His mom's Facebook post caught the attention of both the chief executive of Carter's and OshKosh B'Gosh, who reached out to meet the little boy who'd captured the hearts of so many on social media.

It wasn't long before Asher landed that elusive modeling deal. As of this week, he is a new face of OshKosh.

"I want people to realize someone with a disability can do anything and everything that they set their minds to," Nash said. Asher's disability "does not define who he is. There are no limits to what he can do in his life."

About 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a genetic disorder in which children can have an extra copy of chromosome 21, which can cause mental and physical disabilities.

"When you see a kid like Asher Nash as the face of OshKosh, you're speaking to 1 in 5 American families out there that actually have a disability in their family," said Katie Driscoll, founder and president of Changing the Face of Beauty, a nonprofit advocacy group.

"It's about communicating to this large community — 1.3 billion people globally have a disability," Driscoll said.