More aid planned for kids with Down syndrome

The Down Syndrome Association of Singapore revealed yesterday that it plans to do more to give children with the condition the help they need from an earlier age.

In November, it will launch a programme which will involve bringing in overseas specialists. While exact details are still being firmed up, these experts would teach parents how to care for infants and toddlers of up to 36 months old.

The association believes that early intervention can help children with the syndrome progress further in life.

It is also planning to start an independent living centre next year to equip young adults with Down syndrome with the skills necessary to care for themselves.

Trainers will teach them how to cook, organise and manage their personal space, and maintain personal safety, among other things.

These plans were spelt out by Mr Moses Lee, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association, at the association's charity gala dinner last night. He highlighted how the number of members has grown from 500 in 2011, to more than 700 active members today. He said they motivate the board and the staff to build "a legacy that embraces diversity and inclusiveness in our society".

Worldwide, the condition affects one in every 700 babies. In 2011, it was estimated that 30 babies with the chromosomal abnormality are born here each year.

Samantha Boh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 13, 2015, with the headline 'More aid planned for kids with Down syndrome'. Print Edition | Subscribe