On 23 and 24 May 2014 in Old School, Mirkovec (municipality St. Krizh, Zacretje, Croatia) an international symposium on "Modern medical views on trisomy 21 and autism" was held. It was organized by the association "Trisomy 21" from Zagreb, under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Croatia, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and the Mayor of the municipality Krapinsko-Zagorska.
The symposium is a result of many years of experience working with children with Down syndrome and their parents in order to increase the level of awareness and knowledge that will contribute to better and healthier way of life of people with Down syndrome.

The symposium was attended by a number of internationally recognized professionals and parents of children with Down syndrome.
The first day of the symposium there were a number of interesting and relevant topics. Prof. Dr. Drazenka Blazi from the Republic of Croatia talked about early communication of children with Down syndrome and autism - similarities and differences, opportunities and constraints; Prof. Dr. Vladimir Gruden had an excellent presentation on "autogenous training"; Doc. Dr. Lovrecic from Slovenia informed about the latest approaches and technologies in the genetic diagnosis of trisomy 21 and autism.

The presentation of the Macedonian repre­sentatives caused big interest and attention: Prof. Dr. Vladimir Trajkovski presented the latest scientific findings on the relation between Down syndrome and autism, while the occupational therapist Stojan Andonov, through practical workshop, introduced the participants with the manner of application of Art Therapy.

The second day of the symposium MA Emilija Georgieva presented "Adaptation and mobility of families with children with Down syndrome" and the educator Nikolce Nesevski had a brief overview of the inclusion of children with Down syndrome in the educational system in the Republic of Macedonia. The application of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Germany was presented by Wiebke Majoor Sozpad, a social worker from Germany.
The presentations of Mrs. Helena Melovnik Zrinjski, executive director of the association "Trisomy 21" and Mrs. Daniela Raj-Kolaric - vice president of the association "Trisomy 21" who gave their life stories and everyday experiences with a child with Down syndrome caused a lot of emotion in the audience. During the symposium a workshop "Support group for parents-perception of quality of life of parents and ways of dealing with stress" was held. It was designed for parents of children with Down syndrome and autism.

The symposium allowed introduction of the latest scientific achievements in various fields that deal with the Down syndrome and autism, as well as gaining new experiences and practical approaches to working with these people, with the ultimate aim of improving the overall functioning of individuals with Down syndrome and autism and their families. The symposium imposed the need to maintain continuity in the organization of scientific meetings of this kind.


international, symposium, Down syndrome, trisomy 21, Croatia

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