Rick Smith, whose site ‘Noah’s Dad’ is about his son with Down syndrome, is singing the praises of big-box retailer Target, which recently included a 6-year-old boy with the chromosomal condition in one of its ads.

In a post written January 2, Smith applauded the store not only for including Ryan, the young model, but for the way in which it was done:

“This wasn’t a ‘Special Clothing For Special People’ catalog. There wasn’t a call out somewhere on the page proudly proclaiming that ‘Target’s proud to feature a model with Down syndrome in this week’s ad!’ And they didn’t even ask him to model a shirt with the phrase, ‘We Aren’t All Angels’ printed on the front.

In other words, they didn’t make a big deal out of it. I like that.”

Smith told the Daily News that the ad could help people understand that children with Down syndrome are typical kids. “Some people imagine children born with Down syndrome as sick, or unable to do many of the same tasks that a typical child does,” he says. “However, this is not true.”

As for Ryan, the blonde, blue-eyed model, this wasn’t his first time in front of the cameras — he’s also appeared in a catalog for the department store Nordstrom. His mom says the experiences have been a confidence-boost for him, adding, “We are honored that Ryan is making the Down syndrome community proud. He is a beautiful boy inside and out. He makes us better parents, and a better family.”

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