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In Russia, where old prejudices and misconceptions about the nature of Down syndrome and potential of people with Down syndrome survive to this day, the families raising children with Down syndrome often encounter unfriendliness and lack of understanding. This is why another essential feature of Downside Up’s work is its awareness raising activities aimed at building a positive image of a person with Down syndrome in Russian society.

A Letter to the parents:

Dear parents,

The birth of a child is a big event for each family, and the birth of a child with special needs is attended with additional anxiety and apprehension.

A child with Down syndrome is born in your family, and, quite naturally, you have many questions concerning his/her health, well-being and development. Your own past experience and that of your friends may not be quite relevant in this situation. For many years teachers and psychologists from Downside Up Early Intervention Centre have provided advice to families who raise children with Down syndrome. They help parents and other family members to cope with stress, accept the child and, in cooperation with psychologists and specialists, to create environment for the child’s successful development and socialisation. They support them in finding confidence and skills in their parenting.

In our work we proceed from an obvious, but none the less essential statement: a child with special needs ought to live in his/her family, and this family must be provided with all-round help and support.