Link August 2017 - Page 44

intellectual disability down syndrome study hits 40 A 4o-year longitudinal study on Australian children with Down syndrome has been recognised with a major award from Down Syndrome International. Project manager Janette Lloyd studies of the development of the said about 217 individuals and their longitudinal cohort debunked this families had been directly involved in myth, demonstrating that while the the study, comprised of three main rate of development was slower, cohorts - children born from 1973 development did still continue. to 1978, 1979 to 1982 and the third International data is now suggesting being a cross-section of the families a plateau at 18 years.” study, which began with infants with from the first two ranges. Down syndrome in the 1970s, has unearthed several key findings on many of the families involved, but recently won an Australian Research literacy, motor development and obviously there has been a natural Council grant to examine post-school sibling and family life. attrition because of death or where options and lifestyle choices for families have relocated interstate or young adults with Down syndrome Jobling said that in 2018 the program overseas,” Ms Lloyd said. and other intellectual disabilities. would celebrate its significant contribution to research into Down undertaking a research project of of the study have changed over the syndrome. adults aged between 35 and 40 and significant time invested. we’ve been overwhelmed with the response from families.” – the children are now adults and The University of Queensland Former program director Dr Anne “The study provides unique and important insights into the health 42 “We still have contact with “At the moment we are Janette said the study would continue, and researchers had Janette said that some aspects “The dynamics have changed and development of those with Down syndrome as well as information began in the 1970s it coincided significant impacts in many ways, about family functioning,” Dr Jobling with a period where routine which is becoming evident in our said. institutionalisation of babies was current data collection with the 35 to “It has collected data about Janette said that when the study the parents are older - this all has being discontinued, with this being 40 year olds.” cognitive development, motor the first generation of people living development, temperament and with Down syndrome to be cared for syndrome International was less family functioning, including the by their families. about the achievements of the impact on parents and siblings.” researchers, Janette said, and more effectiveness of early intervention, about recognising the involvement of also successful in proving against and the interactions of mothers with the individuals and families over so prejudices previously assumed of their babies, capturing the love and many years. people with Down syndrome. mutual benefit a child with Down syndrome brings to a family. families for their contributions over plateaued in the teenage years but such a long period of time. our research proved it didn’t,” Dr being changed by this resear ch that Jobling said. added evidence that ‘putting the said to me ‘I think as a parent you child in a home and moving on’ was need that extra motivation and it syndrome require continuing not best for the family, the child or was important to me to learn what education after they leave school indeed society. we can do for them (people with to support inclusion in their Down syndrome) in school and the communities, and particularly with believed that cognitive development community to help them develop access to paid work.” plateaued from age 12 but careful their future careers’.” Dr Jobling said the study was “People once thought learning “Young adults with Down intellectual disability “Earlier studies investigated the “Attitudes were changing and “Prior to this research, it was The recognition from Down “It provides recognition to the “A parent involved in the project