World Down Syndrome Day
Today, on World Down Syndrome Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that every member of our society is afforded the opportunity to lead a full and prosperous life.
· Down Syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. It occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. Today, this condition can be determined in utero, prior to the child’s birth. (Source: National Down Syndrome Society)
· While, the risk of having a child with Down Syndrome increases with maternal age, more children with the condition are born to younger mothers as a result of the higher birth rate in this age group. As such, all women should seek to take advantage of pre-natal care provided as early detection is critical to preparing the special needs of one’s child.
· Although developmental and learning difficulties often accompany Down Syndrome, early detection, good health care, a stimulating home environment as well as specially designed educational programmes go a long way towards ensuring that affected individuals lead fulfilling lives.
· The role of the community in embracing and supporting those with this genetic condition cannot be emphasised enough. Persons with Down Syndrome experience the same vast array of moods and emotions as every other individual. Interactions with them should be rooted in the knowledge that we all share the same emotional needs.
· As is often the case, education is an integral element of progress. I urge you all to seek out the facts about Down Syndrome and not be misguided by misinformation.
Quote: Less than two weeks ago, during her address at the 25th Intercessional Meeting of the Heads of Caricom in St Vincent, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar highlighted the thrusts she had made as Chairperson to increase the social inclusivity of persons with special needs not just in Trinidad and Tobago but also in the region. She said:
“A regional dialogue on persons living with disabilities and special needs was also commenced in July (2013), and by year’s end, a High Level Meeting on the Rights of persons with disabilities in the Caribbean was convened in Haiti.
It is my hope that this initiative will progress quickly so that we can achieve a fully disability-friendly region.”
Activities: The Down Syndrome Family Network will be hosting two conferences to commemorate this occasion: (See attached flyer for additional details)
- Friday March 21st – Magdalena Grand, Tobago
- Saturday 22nd March – Full Conference – Hyatt Regency, Trinidad
The theme is “Health and Well being: Access and Equality for All”.
Registration fee: $150.00 for DSFN Members and $250.00 for non-members.
All events are free to persons with Down Syndrome.
· For more information about Down Syndrome and upcoming DSFN events visit the Down Syndrome Family Network website www.dsfamilynetwork.org/
· Also, visit the Student Support Services Division of the Ministry of Education at www.moe.gov.tt to find out more about education opportunities for those with special needs.
· For support services, persons are also encouraged to contact the Trinidad and Tobago National Association for Down Syndrome at 625 9787 or firstname.lastname@example.org