Teach the one next to you how great can be a child with Down syndrome

Teach the one next to you how great can be a child with Down syndrome

European Centre for the Rights of Children with Disabilities in partnership with National Council for Combating Discrimination held a series of public activities, subscribed to the national Campaign “A chance at normality for children with Down syndrome”, between the 19th and 23rd of March 2012, within the context of the International Day of Down syndrome – 21st of March, officially recognized by the UN in 2011.

The events of Down’s syndrome Week in Romania were the following:

1.   On 21st of March - A round table which brought together experts from public authorities in the field, NGOs and media representatives to discuss about the subject “From disability to diversity – Individual standards and effective rights for children with Down syndrome”.

2.   On 22nd of March – The Extraordinary Concert on benefit of the children with Down syndrome – The Music of Fulfilled Wishes.

3.   On 23rd March – Informal meeting with the parents of children with Down syndrome on the occasion of Sujeet DESAI’s visit in Romania. Sujeet DESAI is the International Ambassador of People with Down syndrome.

The main conclusions of the meeting reflect the need for cooperation between public authorities and the civil society, as well as the need to identify appropriate solutions suited to the particularities of intervention and assistance for children with Down syndrome. Also, from the perspective of disability, the problem of discrimination remains a sensitive aspect on the long term for including and integrating the children with Down syndrome and their parents. In this context, the National Council for Combating Discrimination and the European Centre for the Rights of Children with Disabilities iterated the need of sustained effort in the battle against discrimination, in which the informing component has a major role.

The informal meeting with the parents of children with Down syndrome from Romania, Sujeet DESAI and Sujeet’s mother, doctor Sindoor DESAI, focused firstly, on the practical experience of raising and educating a child with Down syndrome and secondly, on the latest medical aspects of Down syndrome research. The conclusions emphasize the need of identifying and exploring the abilities of children with Down syndrome and the necessity to involve parents in lobby and advocacy activities, starting at an individual level:  “Teach your child’s doctor about his strengths, explain to his teacher about his skills, show your neighbor how warm, responsible and talented your child can be”, said dr. Sindoor DESAI.

The three events starring the campaign were successful, especially in terms of launching the subject of children with Down syndrome in the Romanian public space as well as of the media coverage, the debates initiated and the presence of experts at these events.

The European Centre for the Rights of Children with Disabilities welcomes the open and proactive attitude of the persons and institutions which understand that only through a joint effort and an integrated approach of Down syndrome phenomenon, the children and adults with Down syndrome may overcome the frame of disability, becoming leading exponents of the diversity of human society. Each affirmative gesture from an institutional vector is an opportunity given to children with Down syndrome.

 
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