In April of 2018 my daughter, Sharmane and I experienced the privilege of attending the National Down Syndrome Society’s inspirational and educational First Annual Down Syndrome Adult Summit.
With Sharmane getting older, forty-four at the time of the conference and dementia prevalent in people with Down syndrome, we mainly attended lectures related to dementia and Alzheimer’s. A few speakers provided insight into the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s, which are different for people with Down syndrome as explained below. Others described best practices for dealing with those experiencing dementia, and one lecture offered suggestions for preserving memories.
This essay is intended to help the parents, family, friends, and caregivers of people with Down syndrome to recognize and navigate the turbulent world of dementia if you must enter that realm.
If your child or family member has Down syndrome, he or she may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for any medical care, housing costs, caretakers, and any other daily living needs. The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers benefits for people who are unable to work or participate in typical childhood activities due to a serious disability. Down syndrome almost always medically qualifies for Social Security benefits, but financial eligibility may be a little more challenging.
My name is Paul Daugherty. My blessing, one of many, is my daughter Jillian Daugherty Mavriplis. She’s 27 and has achieved a lot: High school graduation, four years of college, full-time employment, complete independence and marriage to the love of her life, Ryan. Oh, she has Down syndrome. Almost forgot that.
Spread the Word to End the Word is not a political correctness campaign. It is not about censorship. It is all about RESPECT.
I can’t wait for Disability Day on the Hill in Nashville Feb. 8 and in Washington, DC on March 22. I can’t wait to see my legislators and talk about what we need in the community. I love being there with other self-advocates who want to talk about the same things.