What can I do to help newly affected parents?
The friends and family have a very important role to play. It is important to understand the parents’ anxiety and concerns. Sometimes, these anxieties may result in irritated or irrational responses from the parents. It is extremely important for you to understand the gravity of what they are going through and to provide them appropriate emotional support.
What is the family support required for a child with Down’s syndrome?
Family plays the most significant role in development of the child through infancy and childhood. It is important to keep the child constantly engaged meaningful activity. This calls for significant investment of quality time on the child.
What is your role as a community member?
Children with Down’s syndrome have a strong need for attention and emotional support. A healthy, stress-free environment goes a long way in ensuring a balanced development of the child.
An aware and responsible member of community would openly accept and welcome access to a person with Down’s syndrome in various social situation.
How can you make a real difference to people with Down’s syndrome?
If you have a person with Down’s syndrome in your neighbourhood, some very small gestures will go a long way in making a difference – e.g. ensuring your children do not hesitate to include him/her in their games; ensuring you and your family members acknowledge/greet the person (you would be surprised with the warmth that will be reciprocated to you over time).
It is also important that you discourage any unacceptable attitude displayed towards a person with Down’s syndrome. This needs to be done by building awareness and appealing to the positive side of the concerned person, instead of a confrontation.
No purpose is nobler than that of making a difference to the lives of others, especially the less privileged ones.
You can make a real difference to by advocating and supporting (in terms of time, ideas and resources) some of the following causes:
Social and cultural inclusion of people with Down’s syndrome
Ensuring adequately equipped inclusive schools
Creating an infrastructure for their vocational training
Creating opportunities for their employment