Don’t stigmatize children with Down’s syndrome

By
Alexander Nyarko Yeboah

Tema Oct. 22, GNA – The Founder of Todah
Connect Foundation has asked parents not to neglect children with Down’s
syndrome but rather love and care for them to speed up their developmental
process.

Madam Agnes Teiko Nyemi-Tei says that even
though it is difficult to take care of such children, one could boost their
morale and make them feel part of the society when they are given the needed
attention.

She said this over the weekend after members
of the Foundation undertook a health walk through some principal streets of
Tema with some of the children to mark Global Down’s syndrome month, which was
celebrated annually in October.

Madam Nyemi-Tei, whose daughter had the
condition, said, “It was difficult for me to accept that this was the baby I
had because of developmental delays in her and therefore I desire to share my
experiences with other parents.”

She advised parents not to see such children
as useless and evil and leave them walking aimlessly, but rather educate them
on how to keep themselves clean and eat well.

Co-founder of the Foundation, Mr. Daniel
Maxwell, said there was the need to educate the public more on the condition
concerning the tendency of people to give birth to such children, how to take
care of them, how to integrate them into society, and how to make sure they
were accepted socially and culturally.

Mrs. Zuzana Addo, a parent of a child with
Down’s syndrome, said “it was difficult from the beginning in nurturing such
children in terms of what you would have loved them to become in future, but
with proper care, they would be able to achieve the milestone required of every
child, even though it would take a longer time. Society should give them the
platform, space, time and compassion they need to develop.”

Todah Connect Foundation has been in existence
for a year and has five children with the condition in its care. It also has a
Parent Support Group which meets with parents of such children to discuss
issues affecting them and how to assist each other with the challenges they
faced.

As part of awareness creation, the Foundation
undertook a health walk, sharing flyers and educating people about the
existence of persons living with Down’s syndrome.

Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder caused
when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome
21.

It causes a distinct facial appearance,
intellectual disability and developmental delays in affected children.

GNA

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