By Ujunwa Atueyi
To mark the 2019 ‘World Down Down_Syndrome Day’, stakeholders have again called for acceptance and inclusion of people with the health challenge in all societal affairs.
They spoke during an event put together by Anthos House, Lekki, Lagos, a school for children with special educational needs, in collaboration with Nicole and Giovanni to commemorate the day.
They pointed out that due to low awareness of down syndrome in the society, children living with the genetic disorder are still neglected, hidden and excluded from life affairs, instead of being supported with great opportunities to achieve their God-given potentials.
The experts in their respective remarks at the programme themed “Leave no one behind,” challenged parents, communities and government at all level to collaborate and make funds available for the wellbeing of children with the disorder.
Head of School, Anthos House, Dr. Kimberly Scollard, said that it is important that every child should be given opportunity to become who they want to become.
She said, “As an institution, we do not look at diagnosis, we look at every child to be the best and do the best. Some children take a little bit longer time to accomplish what other children may be able to do in a short time. It is only lack of opportunity that keeps children from achieving success. All these kids have their individual strengths and abilities, if they are given appropriate support they will achieve greatly. We have to stop judging people based on how they look.
“No human being is a failure. Everyone is capable of something if opportunity is given. Parents need to seek professional guidance from the healthcare system because they have to work collaboratively.”
Co-founder, Nicole and Giovanni, Aderonke Abiona, said the event created ample awareness for people to know that children who have unique personality also have dreams and should be given opportunity to participate in public life on a full and equal basis with others, adding that discrimination will cause more harm than good.