World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is observed annually on March 21 to raise awareness about the genetic condition and promote the rights, inclusion, and well-being of people with Down Syndrome (DS). This year’s theme is “NOT FOR US, WITH US”, which aims to encourage individuals and communities to think about creating space for people living with Down Syndrome to be the voice of their experience.
The theme is particularly relevant given the challenges and social isolation experienced by people with DS during the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic amplified existing inequalities and discrimination faced by people with disabilities, including those with DS. Therefore, the theme emphasises the importance of creating a safe place for people living with DS where meaningful relationships and connections can be fostered and everyone feels heard and understood.
Therapy Care is an organization committed to providing support services and advocacy for people living with DS. As a registered National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) provider, Therapy Care offers a range of services to support the needs of individuals with DS and their families.
Luke has been a beloved member of the Therapy Care community since 2019. As Luke lives with Down Syndrome, he has an NDIS plan with Therapy Care that includes regular exercise physiology sessions in the gym to improve his physical health and coordination, as well as supervised swimming. Additionally, Therapy Care provides Luke with social and community participation activities, including group outings, one-on-one support and getaways, to help him build meaningful relationships and connections with his community.
Since joining the Therapy Care community, Luke has made significant progress in his personal development. Luke’s confidence and social skills have increased, and inturn, he has made many meaningful friendships. He has also seen overall improvements in his physical strength and muscle tone through his tailored exercise program.
Luke is a very outgoing, charismatic, and overall happy person. He puts a smile on everyone’s face when he walks into Therapy Care, complimenting others and never failing to dance and sing to his favorite band, the Backstreet Boys. Luke continues to develop independent living skills and is familiarizing himself with spending time away from home, catching public transport, and discovering new places and activities.
Luke wants people to know that living with Down syndrome comes with its own superpowers. He says he’s excellent at making friends and many other activities people might not expect him to excel at. Luke loves how many friends he has in the Therapy Care community. He likes helping others, celebrating his friend’s achievement, and training in the gym. Luke’s current goals are to increase his strength, become a better dancer, especially to Backstreet Boys songs and hip hop music, get better at swimming, become a better friend, make more friends, and gain more independence.
Overall, Luke’s story shows the potential for growth and development in individuals with Down syndrome when they receive the support they need. The Therapy Care team is proud to be a part of Luke’s journey and to help him achieve his goals.