Brain protein finding could lead to Alzheimer’s treatment in Down syndrome

by Bradley J. Fikes – A team at the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla has reported an explanation for why people with Down syndrome often develop Alzheimer’s disease. The study builds on research last year that suggested a cause for the mental disability that accompanies Down syndrome. If the continuing analysis results in […]

Student with Down syndrome earns recognition for self-advocacy

Fourth grader Dashiell Meier.

by Elena Kadvany – Dashiell Meier might be Palo Alto’s most accomplished 10 year old. The Ohlone Elementary School fourth-grader with Down syndrome has been to Sacramento several times to advocate for Down syndrome awareness. This February, he traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress as a representative of the Silicon Valley […]

How empty nest syndrome hits parents of children with learning disabilities

by Kathleen Hawkins – The impact of young adults leaving the home can leave parents feeling anxious, alone and at a loss for what to do. But for the adults of children with learning disabilities who have often cared for the basic needs of their child their whole life, the move can bring a more […]

Receiving the news of a Down syndrome diagnosis

by Liz Collin – A Minnesota family wasn’t expecting what doctors told them more than a year ago. Their soon-to-be son had Down syndrome. Now, a special basket is changing the conversation about the diagnosis. When the Carroll family had their second pregnancy in two years, they were overjoyed. “We like it busy and crazy. […]

What about a Disney princess with Down syndrome?

Disney princesses come from different races, even different species, if you count mermaids. But one California couple believes that heroes or heroines with special needs are underrepresented, and so they’re petitioning Walt Disney Studios to create a Disney princess with Down Syndrome. Keston Ott-Dahl and her wife Andrea are mothers to 15-month old Delaney. The […]

Five advantages of inclusive education for students with learning disabilities

Inclusive education is a term used to describe the type of education in which special students or students with a learning disability are encouraged to attend general education classes instead of being enrolled in a special day class. Although inclusive education can be a little controversial for parents, there are numerous advantages to this method of schooling. […]

Dispelling myths about Down syndrome

by Michelle Sie Whitten – When my daughter was born with Down syndrome 11 years ago, I was told by my doctor that she probably wouldn’t live until 3 years old. Beyond that, I was terrified that she would be ostracized or abused by society. Through parenting my brilliant daughter, my fear turned into amazement […]

We started advocating for our son with Down syndrome minutes after his birth

by Sam Perkins – Pearlene Varjabedian was in her kitchen on an early August afternoon when her phone rang. On the other end was John Howard, the behavior management specialist for the Middlesex Sheriff’s Youth Public Safety Academy (YPSA), where Pearlene’s 10-year-old son Aram was a camper. “He said, ‘Pearlene,’ your son made everyone cry […]

Do only people with “cute” disabilities matter?

by David M. Perry – Thirty years ago, Ronald Reagan declared October Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Ever since, too many efforts at awareness have relied on pictures of people with Down syndrome being cute, accompanied by constant, upbeat assertions that they and their families are all very happy. Throughout October, adorable photos of people with Down syndrome and […]

Leading an independent life with Down syndrome

by Dan.D’Addona – It happened months ago, but there is still a sparkle in his eye when he talks about it. Zach Aalderink is still excited about shooting a hole-in-one on the golf course. “I started looking for my ball and it was in the hole,” Aalderink said as he raised his arms just like […]