The Down Syndrome Research Foundation: Empowering individuals with Down Syndrome to reach their full potential
When Edison was born after a traumatic labour and delivery that culminated in several weeks spent in the neonatal intensive care unit, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome: a genetic condition caused by an extra 21st chromosome, characterized by health problems, developmental delays and learning disabilities. Edison’s diagnosis was compounded by seizures, sensory integration problems and anxiety, leading doctors to warn his parents, Lisa and David, that their son may never walk or talk.
But Edison is a fighter, and his story doesn’t end here.
At the Down Syndrome Research Foundation, Edison and his family have found the support they needed to unleash his full potential. Now 7-years-old, Edison has far surpassed the early suggestions that he may never walk or talk. Though his speech delay necessitated sign language initially, he now talks like a chatterbox. He attends school, takes piano lessons, plays soccer in an integrated league and reads at a Grade 1 level.
As Edison has progressed through DSRF’s speech therapy program, Lisa has come to appreciate theFoundation’s ability to look at each child as unique, and find the tools that will work best with an individual. “They’re so willing to try new things, and they find things that work. I know that everyone at DSRF sees Edison for the amazing child that he is, not the label that he has, and they really want to help him and help us realize his potential.”
Every day, stories like Edison’s are written at DSRF. People with Down syndrome have tremendous potential, and DSRF is unleashing that potential through an innovative marriage of research and customized educational programming. By bringing together research and program development under one roof, DSRF facilitates professional collaboration that maximizes the benefits to the people they
DSRF’s growing understanding of the way in which individuals with Down syndrome process information enables them to build programs that meet their students’ needs and fit with their learning style. The teaching style is flexible, seeking to capitalize on each student’s personal strengths and interests, thereby reducing frustration and fostering a love of learning.
DSRF’s programs focus on four core skill sets that are necessary for independence: speech and language, reading and communication, and social and emotional development. As students grow in these areas, their true potential is unlocked, and they begin to thrive in life, work and relationships.
The success of the DSRF approach is ultimately measured not in numbers, but in stories of lives transformed and potential unleashed. It is evident when a young adult with Down syndrome can read a transit schedule and choose the right bus to get them to their destination, and enjoy a good book en route. It is made manifest when she arrives at work, and is able to read and follow the instructions left by her supervisor, enabling her to be a productive, contributing staff member. It is demonstrated when she stops by the grocery store on the way home to purchase food to cook that evening, and she knows that she has enough money with her to pay for it.
People with Down syndrome have tremendous potential. At DSRF, that potential is unleashed – to the great benefit of the students, their families, and the entire community.
The Down Syndrome Research Foundation is proudly independent of ongoing government funding. This autonomy has allowed the organization to set new trends in the development and delivery of high quality and effective educational programs for people of all ages with Down syndrome. It also means that the support of individuals and organizations in the community is essential to the continued impact of the foundation. Your generous support of DSRF through the BMO Vancouver Marathon’s RUN4HOPE ensures that the Down Syndrome Research Foundation can maintain quality programs, support many families and continue critical research that yields a better understanding of how to help individuals with Down syndrome achieve their full potential.
To learn more about the Down Syndrome Research Foundation or to make a donation, please visit http://www.dsrf.org/
Be a Charity Runner for Down Syndrome Research Foundation
Run and raise funds for Down Syndrome Research Foundation and enjoy an exciting RUN4HOPE running package!
- FREE race registration
- FREE training clinic with the Running Room
- RUN4HOPE tech training shirt
- RUN4HOPE express line package pick up at the expo
- RUN4HOPE express line gear check at the start line
- RUN4HOPE express line gear pick up at the finish line
- RUN4HOPE start line warm up tent
As a Charity Runner, you commit to raising a minimum of $1000 dollars for Down Syndrome Research Foundation, and will receive fundraising tools and support directly from the charity to help make your fundraising a success. Take your running to another level by making a big impact for our community!
Learn more here