from the National Down Syndrome Congress
This past weekend in Los Angeles, an amazing panel of presenters which included self advocates Karen Gaffney, Lee Jones, and Meredith Martin, along with NDSC board vice president Carlene Mattson, wowed the audience in a plenary session titled, We're More Alike Than Different: Having Down Syndrome in 2008. They were simply terrific! It was an honor to be associated with this panel, and to watch the attendees learn from our speakers. It is our hope that we met our plenary's learning objectives for the genetic counselors, and that they will:
1. Examine their previous understanding of what it means to have DS and compare it to the reality of the lives of the presenters
2. Envision new possibilities for the future of individuals with DS
3. Incorporate personal stories of the presenters into counseling patients with a pre- or postnatal diagnosis
For many attendees, this was their first opportunity to hear directly from an individual with Down syndrome. There's no doubt we have changed the way they think! You can also continue to help two genetic counseling students who have taken a special interest in Down syndrome and how the news is shared. If you haven't done so already, please take a few minutes and complete these online surveys - and pass them along to others in your area.