As a mom of a child with Down syndrome, I want just as many opportunities available to Matthew in his future as there would naturally be for Elizabeth. I want Matthew to be accepted and respected. And I want Matthew to have greater options in life than he might have otherwise.
I am always interested in new scientific research about Down syndrome. Three groups that actively Down syndrome medical and cognitive research are:
- Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation (DSRTF)
- Global Down Syndrome Foundation
- Research Down Syndrome
The DSRTF has an ongoing campaign called plus15.
For every dollar donated to plus15 before midnight tonight, a donor will match 3 to 1. The plus15 campaign funds research at major research centers, including Johns Hopkins Medical Center, Stanford University, University of San Diego, and University of Arizona, into how to improve the memory, learning, and speech of people with Down syndrome by 15 percent.
Down Syndrome Achieves is another organization that is spearheading the drive for more Down syndrome research work and legislative action. Lisa at Living in the Light blogged about Down Syndrome Achieves in her entry "A New Era in Advocacy for Down Syndrome".
I listened to their eye-opening and very interesting web conference this evening. It was shocking (and very sad) to see the disparity in government funding for Down syndrome and other diagnoses. Basically, more funding for Down syndrome means a possible acceleration of scientific research and treatments to improve learning, cognition and communication. I'll share more details about it in a separate blog entry. Another web conference is scheduled on February 17, 2011.
It all sounds promising. I am hopeful. If the research translates to good options for improving learning, cognition, and communication, which in turn can lead to better opportunities and independence, then I am for it. Are you?