Tag Archives: Down syndrome

Socks Stand for Solidarity on World Down Syndrome Day

shutterstock_130699232Hello Spring! May we ask you not to march Old Man Winter off just yet? We can
use some of that cold for a good cause. This year, as we mark the ninth
anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day, attention is focused on people living with Down Syndrome and those who live and work with them.

The global solidarity message this year is to keep your feet in lots
of socks. Keep your feet warm for a good cause and let them help to
spread a message of care and enlightenment.

This year’s theme “Health and Wellbeing – Access and Equality for
All” reminds us of why we need to spread the message that people with
Down Syndrome need our enlightenment to live fulfilled lives.

Down Syndrome is a genetic condition, and with the correct diagnosis
and accurate, evidence-based information, most people with Down Syndrome
live normal, active and productive lives. It is important that parents,
teachers and health care professionals know how to help these people
reach their life goals.

Along
with this year’s celebration comes a unique tool that does just that.
Studies have shown that people with Down Syndrome have difficulty

Discovering Emotions with Zeely as seen in iTunes

Discovering Emotions with Zeely as seen in iTunes

processing facial expressions such as surprise and fear. Discovering
Emotions with Zeely is an iPad app that helps people with Down Syndrome
learn to better recognize facial expressions. You heard right – there’s
an app for that!

The app is an education tool that helps parents, educators and
therapists working with children with special needs. It is a unique tool
that collates data and helps parents or caregivers monitor the child’s
progress either in school, in the therapy environment or at home.

To mark World Down Syndrome Day, we are making Discovering Emotions with Zeely free to download on March 21.

You can download the app for free here. 

Don’t forget to share the love by wearing lots of socks today and
remember – “Health and Wellbeing – Access and Equality for All”.

Volunteer Actors and Models Wanted!

Some children with special needs like

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Aspergers Syndrome
  • Down syndrome
  • Fetal Alcohol Spectrum or syndrome
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • intellectual disabilities
  • other special needs

have challenges fitting in socially, thus having significant long term impact in their lives. Research shows these children can be taught social skills through repeated exposure to real-life scenarios. As a parent, I have spent many hours helping my child with special needs  — from putting them in social skills groups and camps, to reading social stories – to overcome these long term impacts. I have found, as most parents of children with special needs, these methods do help a little, but are not effective due to the lack of repeated exposure, as well as low motivation on the part of the child to participate in exercises using these methods.

With this in mind, Virtual Eye See, an organization dedicated to developing e-learning applications for children with special needs, is building a social skills training product. The goals are to increase the amount of exposure to social skill learning modules in a fun and engaging manner. We are beginning with building an emotion recognition module. This tool will generate images of seven basic emotions that will help children identify and understand the basic emotional expressions to develop their social skills.

To accomplish this, we are looking to photograph people who can demonstrate accurately and realistically, through facial expressions, the following emotions: happy, sad, angry, surprised, proud, disgust, and fear.

The photo shoot will take place Sunday, November 25, 12pm – 4pm. Those selected will be scheduled in a 30-minute time slot during these hours.

All ages and ethnic origins are welcome. A parent or guardian must accompany children to the photo shoot.

All those who participate will need to sign a release form. If the actor or model is a minor, a parent or legal guardian will need to sign on their behalf.

If interested, please send a headshot of yourself or your child demonstrating some of the facial expressions listed above.

Headshots should be sent to natasha at virtualeyesee dot com no later than November 19, 2012.

If selected, you will be provided with further details including location, time, appropriate clothing suitable for photographing.