While there are many exciting milestones that accompany growing older, old age can also bring unexpected challenges for which adults with Down syndrome and their families and caregivers often do not feel adequately prepared.
The MDSC offers Growing Up with Down Syndrome: Living a Longer, Healthier and More Meaningful Life, a one day regional conference hosted by the MDSC and Massachusetts General Hospital Down Syndrome Program for adults with Down syndrome, ages 22 and up, and their families and caregivers. The conference empowers attendees to prepare for the healthiest future possible.
To date, the MDSC has hosted two Growing Up with Down Syndrome conferences (October 2015 and April 2018). Please stay tuned for information on our next conference.
Who should attend?
Adults with Down syndrome (ages 22 and up) and their families and caregivers.
What can I expect?
The conference has two tracks: one for adults with Down syndrome and one for families and caregivers. Adults with Down syndrome gather together for inspiring presentations led by peers, interactive discussions on hot topics, and fun activities! Workshops for parents and caregivers address topics that arise and/or change as your loved one ages, including:
- healthy aging
- future planning
- mental health
- grief, loss and how to support your loved one
- breakout groups to support connections and in-depth discussions
Highlights from April 2018 Conference
Our 2018 Growing Up with Down Syndrome: Living a Longer, Healthier and More Meaningful Life conference was held at Bentley University and welcomed over 200 adults with Down syndrome and their families and caregivers.
Adults with Down syndrome enjoyed networking and saving & spending activities led by our partners at the Boston office of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as well as workshops led by members of our Self Advocate Advisory Council.
Dr. Dennis McGuire, a Down syndrome behavioral expert with more than 30 years of experience in the fields of mental health and developmental disabilities, presented both the keynote and a breakout session for families and caregivers. He is the former Director of Psychosocial Services for the Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital in suburban Chicago, the largest clinic for adults with Down syndrome in the United States. He helped establish the center, which serves over 4,000 unique adult patients with Down syndrome each year.
Dr. McGuire keynotes at events around the world and is the co-author of two prominent books about promoting wellbeing in adults with Down syndrome:
- Mental Wellness in Adults with Down Syndrome: A Guide to Emotional and Behavioral Strengths and Challenges
- The Guide to Good Health for Teens & Adult with Down Syndrome