I am am new member and could use some general advice. I've never known anyone with down syndrome before, so please do not be offended by my ignorance.
I am organising a holiday for a group of people, and one of the teenage girls has down syndrome. She will be accompanied by a family member, but is there anything I can do or need to be aware of when planning the trip? It involves a 12 hour plane trip, and all the general sightseeing and holiday activities.
I want to make sure everyone has a great time, and not cause any upset by my lack of knowledge of her condition.
I would suggest you ask the family member that is chaperoning her... my reasoning is, people with Down's personalities vary SO greatly, just like you or I or anyone who is "normal". She may have quirks about some things, she may like or dislike certain foods...you may want to find out if she has any other medical conditions...some do, and there may be diet restrictions, or medications to be aware of. You may ask if she's flown before...could be a lil frightening if it's her first experience.
I bet by the end of the trip...you don't see the "down's" anymore... just the girl!
I think some general rules of thumb would be to make sure there isn't too much hard core activity. (an entire day of walking for example) because many downs syndrome people cannot handle this on their bodies. Downs teenagers are just like any other teenager and love to do the same activities. (being with friends, dancing, listening to music, etc.) and can also be ornery and have an attitude sometimes. As far as activities go, though, just make sure it wouldn't be to hard for someone with a heart problem, as many people with downs have this. I hope I have helped a little bit and I also hope that everything goes well on the holiday trip!