This webinar offered a mother’s perspective on Down syndrome cognition research, featuring a pioneer in the field of education for children with DS, founder of Down Syndrome Education International, and parent of a child with DS: Professor Sue Buckley, OBE. In her talk, Sue spoke pragmatically about the challenges and concerns research presents, noting the need to proceed thoughtfully and cautiously — a stance DSRTF shares and keeps at the forefront of our efforts. But she also encouraged families to get involved in research; likened pharmaceutical treatments to speech and memory therapies, all of which share the goal of improving brain function; and asked the audience to consider the question, “If safe and effective, shouldn’t any therapy that improves life for people with DS be welcome?”
Sue was joined on the panel by Suzanne Shepherd, a DSRTF supporter and co-president of the Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas, who talked about why she believes in research: “Outcomes today for people with Down syndrome are miles ahead of what they were 20-30 years ago,” she said, “thanks to good medical care, therapies, and improved educational practices. Imagine the strides our sons and daughters will make when cognitive therapies are added to that mix — that's the power and promise of Down syndrome cognitive research.”
DSRTF board member Margie Doyle also took part, sharing her mission as a mother: “As a mom to five children, it’s always been a priority for me to try and minimize the challenges for each child so that they might achieve their personal potential,” she said. “It is no different for my son with Down syndrome. The complexities that result from DS are obstacles to be addressed and minimized, as best as possible, so that Colin attains his full personal potential.”
Did you miss the webinar? You can listen to the session now, or download the presentation slides. Our sincere thanks to Sue, Suzanne, and Margie for sharing your time and your passion for building a better future for people with DS.