On April 10 2013 at 09.30, Clinical Professor Choakchai Metheetrairut (Director of Siriraj Hospital) presided over the 21st course for "Children with Down Syndrome", along with Associate Professor Nirun Vanprapar (Head of Pediatrics Department), Professor Pornsawan Wasant (Division of Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, and the President of the Parents with Special Children Association Siriraj Hospital), at Srisavarindra bld, Siriraj Hospital.
Professor Pornsawan Wasant stated that modern medical equipments have confirmed an increase in the cases of children with down syndrome, which are primarily linked to genetics. According to statistics, there are approximately 800 - 1000 new cases per year. Medical advancements have allow accurate diagnosis within the children in their earlier stages. Although definite treatment is still in the developmental phases, early diagnosis provides for the proper preparations in terms of pediatrics developments for these children. Therefore, this particular course will be held annually to assist the parents of these children and medical personnel with the proper education including: basic characteristics of children with down syndrome, primary developments, speaking practice, health screening on heart, thyroid, optic, and hearing, nursery preparations. Studies have shown that special children are capable of studying in a formal school from kindergarten to 4th or 6th grade, with many progressing through the middle school level, and an increasing number of those that are able to continue towards the high school level. The assimilation program was establsihed by the groups of parents with special children, and was active since 1995. The group was primarily responsible for the enacment of the law for special children to attend the same school with all children, effective since August 18 1999.
The current challenge is however, children that graduated from 4th - 6th grade do not have the opportunity for career training, thus resulting from the absence of practical activities, resulting in the degeneration of the brain function. Therefore, this program proivdes a great opportunity for parents of special children to bring them to the attention and care of professionals, who will guide them through the neccessary developmental trainings. Nevertheless, this annual arrangement also give parents to meet and exchange their experiences among each other as well.