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Down Syndrome and College - Leading a Full Life with Disabilities

By September 30, 2008

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The birth of Sarah Palin's child with Down syndrome has sparked new media interest in this type of disability. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused a chromosomal difference. The disorder typically involves intellectual disabilities, weaknesses in adaptive behavior skills, difficulty learning, and differences in physical appearance. As with many learning disorders, Down syndrome can be mild, moderate, or debilitating.

Not so long ago, a diagnosis of Down syndrome meant an automatic placement in a fully self-contained special education classroom, if not a special school or residential treatment facility. More and more, however, educators and parents are recognizing that many children with Down syndrome can lead full lives and can enjoy and benefit from some interaction with peers in regular education programs

Advances in medical treatments, assistive technology, rehabilitative therapies, and comprehensive individual education programs are making it possible for more children with Down syndrome to hold jobs, date, marry, and have fuller lives. Some, like Zach Wincent, was elected prom king and is attending college. The National Down Syndrome Society has been instrumental in advocacy and development of innovative programs to further this cause. Clemson University has implemented such a program, Learning is for Everyone (LIFE), specifically designed for young adults with intellectual disabilities.

More on Special Education Programs

October 2, 2008 at 9:19 pm
(1) Katherine says:

What a wonderful collection of resources to encourage parents of children with Down Syndrome. I’m forwarding this around to several friends today. Thanks!

October 3, 2008 at 10:52 pm
(2) Ann Logsdon says:

You’re very welcome, and thanks for sharing this with others!

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