It’s World Down Syndrome Awareness week (21 to 27 March)! This has been observed by the United Nations to raise global awareness since 2012. World Down Syndrome Awareness week aims to give a voice to those with Down’s Syndrome and highlight their vital role in the community. It also calls for their right to be able to fully participate in all aspects of life and with the right kind of support, those with Down’s Syndrome will be able to do just this. For example, I work with children with Down’s Syndrome in my role as a Speech and Language Therapist and help them to engage and interact with others by supporting their communication skills. Help may also be needed with their eating and drinking so they can fully enjoy life to the full.
Other professionals can also provide support in other areas, e.g. a physiotherapist for low muscle tone and an optician and audiologist for help with vision and hearing. An Occupational Therapist can also help with their development of meaningful daily activities.
Lots of Socks
Running in conjunction with this awareness week is also the ‘Lots of Socks’ campaign! The reasoning behind this is that people with Down’s Syndrome have an extra chromosome which some say look like a sock. They actually have three copies of chromosome 21 which is why 21 March is actual World Down Syndrome Day (hence 21/3). Basically they want people to wear socks that will get you noticed – mismatched ones, colourful ones – whatever floats your boat!
Don’t forget to share your #LotsOfSocks pictures on social media to raise awareness of the rights, inclusion and well-being of people with Down Syndrome!