Whitney Cater is a twelve year old girl in Palo City, California who has Down's Syndrome. Her parents are James and Annette Cater. She was introduced in #77 Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever.

Prior to her introduction to the series, Whitney had been attending a special school with a specialized summer program. Her parents plan to mainstream her in the public school system (presumably Vista) in the fall and needed someone to look after her a few afternoons a week. Dawn takes the job in book #77 and Whitney is told Dawn is there as a friend rather than as a baby-sitter to help foster Whitney's independence.

Her parents describe her as easygoing, sympathetic, sensitive, friendly, and outgoing. Her disability is mild and there are no other major side effects from having Down's Syndrome. She is capable of doing many "normal" activities including folding the laundry. Whitney is susceptible to ear infections, but she has drops to put in before she goes into the water. Whitney is a short, stocky girl with brown hair and a wide smile. Whitney is on the swimming team and has won many trophies. She also would like to learn how to baby-sit. Whitney is a fair individual who helped avert a minor fight between Clover and Daffodil Austin in book #77. She does get nervous crossing busy streets.

Whitney is the victim of subtle discrimination when she and Dawn go shopping at Hudson's Department Store. Whitney is sampling perfumes and a saleslady treats her and Dawn rather rudely.

Whitney would like to be treated more like a grown-up. She wishes for pierced ears like Dawn's. When they go shopping, Whitney buys stick on earrings shaped like hears. She also has a "grown-up" purse. Dawn gives Whitney a green bear she had won at the carnival thanks to Clarice Dubina. Whitney names the bear Buster, but then hides him in a closet because she thinks he is baby-ish.


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