Announcement Monday 23rd March 2020

From today Monday 23 March 2020, we are temporarily closing the Down Syndrome NSW office in Parramatta to do our part toward "flattening the curve" of COVID-19 spread.

We are planning to keep supporting you while our team works from their homes. We're still here to support you, answer your questions and provide information. We're also working on ways we can build social connections for our members with Down syndrome, and will be setting up videoconferencing sessions very soon.
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A reminder that we've pulled together the latest health advice for people with Down syndrome, and links to reputable websites. These messages are posted on our website and social media pages and are regularly updated.

If you need to contact us, please phone 0421 853 975 or 0437 762 480 or you can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Announcement Thursday 19th March 2020

Many of our members have been asking whether people with Down syndrome have higher vulnerability to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Essentially the advice to our members with Down syndrome is to take the same precautions as other members of the community but to consider if there are any other health conditions that may increase the risk. If people are concerned they are advised to contact their GP or specialist for advice.

You should also be staying in touch with current NSW Health advice on how to protect or contain the virus from yourself and your family member.

The following notes specific to people with Down syndrome has been provided by Dr Brian Skotko, Director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital USA.

Are people with Down syndrome more vulnerable to coronavirus disease (COVID-19)?
“…..people with Down syndrome can have slight disturbances in their immune system, making them more vulnerable to infections. We recommend using your loved one’s ability to handle past infections/viruses as a good barometer of his/her immune system and how they might respond, should they become infected with COVID-19.

Some people with Down syndrome who have active, untreated, or chronic health conditions might be in a “high-risk” category, which means that they may experience more severe symptoms if infected with COVID-19. These would include patients with Down syndrome who are actively being treated for leukemia or other cancers, have untreated heart conditions, chronic, untreated respiratory diseases, and poorly controlled diabetes. It is also indicated that older persons, in general, are more vulnerable to the virus. If your loved one with Down syndrome falls into one of these “high-risk” categories, here’s what you can be doing right now.”

  • Implement social distancing. It has been shown to be one of the most effective way of preventing the spread of the virus. Social distancing means avoiding public spaces, generally limiting your movement outside of the home, and staying at least 1.5 metres feet away from non-family members.
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid any non-essential travel especially on cruise ships and flying
  • Avoid public transport
  • Stay home as much as possible to reduce your risk
  • Wash your hands often, particularly before and after eating and try to keep your hands away from your face

Information Resources

Easy Read Coronavirus information from NDIA

Plain Language information on Coronavirus

Medicare Programs for people with intellectual disability

Easy Read posters

Easy Read coronavirus

 Easy Read coronavirus 2

 

More information

Down Syndrome NSW face book

For people with Down syndrome

NDIS

NSW Health

The Growing Space

Global Down Syndrome Foundation

Raising Children Network,