On Friday 27th July our Speech & Language therapists, Ruth Mercer & Lauren Drake, and our Service Manager, Ailith Harley-Roberts, travelled to Glasgow for the final day of the 2018 World Down Syndrome Congress.
They were presenting at the congress to share the Sunshine & Smiles model of Speech & Language groups, one of our core pillars and a vital support to children & young people with Down syndrome. The presentation was very well received with many groups & professionals attending and asking questions.
It was also a day with so much to pack in – presentations & seminars on so many different subjects from people all over the world.
Highlights of the day were two talks by young women with Down syndrome, Kylie Scott & Olivia Hargroder, sharing their personal experiences and their determination for inclusion & accessibility across the world.
Our favourite quotes:
“Don’t make decisions about me, without me” – Kylie Scott
“All children are born optimistic” – Olivia Hargroder
We also saw talks on inclusion in school for children & young people with Down syndrome, sexual health & relationships and apps that are helping with cognitive assessments for children.
Ruth picked out a quote from the Inclusion talk that really stood out: “the support & adaptations we make for our children &young people with Down Syndrome have benefit for all students’
The day was overwhelmingly positive & affirming with so many people from around the world coming together to share expertise and experience.
We saw so much potential & energy and as Lauren said ‘an example of how society should be functioning’.
The closing speech by Brian Skotko summed up so well; we are a community and we are are all working & fighting for the same things, we need to continue to do this together to be as strong a force as possible to create & be the change we want to see in the world.
The next World Down Syndrome Congress will be held in Dubai in 2020.