Director at Adult Down Syndrome Center speaks in Rockford Oct. 19

Dr. Dennis McGuire to help area recognize October as National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Dr. Dennis McGuire, the director of Psychosocial Services for the Adult Down Syndrome Center in Chicago, will offer a special presentation from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Unitarian Church/Easter Seals CDC daycare facility, 4848 1/2 Turner St., Rockford. The presentation coincides with October being National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. It is being coordinated by the local Down Syndrome Parent Support Group.

Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic birth defects, affecting approximately one in 800 to 1,000 babies. It generally is caused by an extra chromosome. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, there are approximately 350,000 individuals with Down syndrome in this country. Down syndrome results in a variety of birth defects; among them, some degree of mental retardation, characteristic facial features and, often, heart defects, increased infections, problems with vision and hearing, and other health problems. The severity of all of these problems varies greatly among affected individuals.

Dr. McGuire will discuss findings from a clinic serving the health and psychological needs of adolescents and adults with Down syndrome in Chicago. Dr. McGuire is the director of Psychosocial Services and co-founder of the Adult Down Syndrome Center of 2,900 adults with Down syndrome since its inception in 1992. The Adult Down Syndrome Center is one of the only outpatient clinics specifically serving the needs of adults with Down syndrome in the United States. Dr. McGuire will emphasize both the unique strengths and resources of people with DS but also the risk factors that are unique to this group, especially as they grow into adolescence and adulthood.

Dennis McGuire, Ph.D., is director of Psychosocial Services for the Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital in suburban Chicago. He has an appointment as a clinical assistant professor with the Institute on Disability and Human Development of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. McGuire helped to establish the Adult Down Syndrome Center.

From the Oct. 12-18, 2005, issue

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