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14 August, 2018

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SHIFTING PERSPECTIVES – TRANSFORMATION IN LIVES OF PERSONS WITH DOWN SYNDROME

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 Tamilnadu is the leading state in inclusion related activities for persons with Down syndrome

o   Inclusive Schooling possible. Schools like Lady Andal and Redwood Montessori have taken in our children into regular schooling

o   Our children have moved from Schools to Colleges and have also received their graduation degrees.

o   Same can’t be said for every region in the country. We want to share our knowledge and expertise

 Medical Advancement

o   Centers like the ones for Rare Disorders at VHS providing all facilities – doctors, therapies, treatments etc under one roof

o   The center of Down syndrome Federation of India offers Early  Intervention and Medical screening to children with Down syndrome which helps identifying problems and providing solutions which can help the child lead an inclusive life.

o   All the leading doctors who have seen the most number of cases of persons with Down syndrome available in Chennai/Tamilnadu

o   Create awareness about Screening and other medical facilities available for persons  with Down syndrome

o   Highlight the health concerns that persons with Down syndrome commonly have and bust popular myths.

o   Provide solutions to most health issues that persons with Down syndrome face

o   Discuss the various possibilities for including them in mainstream society

 The Transformation Today

o   More and more people coming out in the open

o   Self advocacy on the rise

o   Many schools willing to accept persons with Down syndrome and help them lead normal school lives

o   Employment for persons with Down syndrome on the rise. Organizations like Lemon Tree and McDonalds willing to accept persons with Down syndrome

o   Social awareness has increased with acceptance among society on the rise. Families also willing to help their child lead an inclusive life

o   Medical advancements have helped identify methods to help persons with Down syndrome lead near normal lives

o   Media playing a major role with movies like “Raising the Bar” presenting the “Up” side of “Down”

o   Events like the ones during World Down Syndrome Day have brought out issues related to Down syndrome.

o   Print and visual media along with social media have created opportunities for persons with disabilities to have their voices heard

What is Down syndrome?

o   The most common genetic birth disorders.

o   Individuals with Down syndrome, have an extra 21st chromosome. So they have a total of 47 chromosomes instead of the regular 46

o   Occurs in approximately 1 of 800 live births globally.

o   Associated with mild to moderate learning disabilities, developmental delays, characteristic facial features, and low muscle tone in early infancy.

 How was it Perceived

o   People with DS categorized under Intellectual disability

o   Not included in mainstream activities – whether social, educational or employment

o   Most families closeted persons with Down syndrome

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