An 'Exceptional Family' with a 3-year-old as the star

11:22 PM, Nov 16, 2010   |    comments
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He is 3 years old and the reason his parents came up with the idea for an online reality show.

Zach was diagnosed with cerebral palsy early in his life.

"We have had a lot of feedback for the exact same reason that we wanted to do this, which was for the community to be able to make friends going through the same thing as us," Renee Charlan, Zach's mother, said.

The idea behind the show, Exceptional Family TV, ( is for families in similar situations to share their ups and downs of raising a child with special needs, says Nathan Charlan, Zach's father.

There are episodes about finding the right doctor for your child, traveling with your child and even their first day of school.

Nathan Charlan has a background in video and started posting Zach's "firsts" on YouTube. It took off from there.

Renee Charlan keeps people updated on social networks and together they host the different shows that Nathan Charlan edits together.

"I consider them my friends as much as anyone here, even though we just talk through the Internet," Renee Charlan said of all their followers.

"It's nice to have that connection with just the simple understanding of: what you are going through. You don't have to explain it to them - they get it," Nathan Charlan said.

The family produced 20 episodes for season one and their fifth episode of season two airs on Friday. The Charlans have also partnered with the developmental disabilities foundation, which is a part of the developmental disabilities resource center of Jefferson County.

As for Zach, his learning tool of choice is an iPad.

"He knows his alphabet; he knows his colors, his animals, his numbers," Renee Charlan said. "We got him an iPad and he has showed us things he knows. He really has figured that thing out faster than we have and we use computers, so it's not like we shouldn't be able to do it."

To watch Zach's show, visit

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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