Scientists are investigating how down syndrome might affect the way people treat other people.
ABC News reports the Down Syndrome Research Institute (DSRI) has announced the creation of a website to help people better understand how Down syndrome affects people.
The DSRI website is now available at: www.dssi.org.au/DressUpForDressDown.
The site features a number of social media resources for people who are concerned about Down syndrome and can help them understand what to do when someone is experiencing symptoms.
The site also provides a guide on how to help family and friends with their Down syndrome related questions.
A person with Down syndrome who is worried about how others treat them may want to consider this advice:”The best way to cope is to not accept the behaviour of others, but accept the situation of your family and loved ones.”
The DSRA website also provides information on a number different research projects that are currently looking into how Down Syndrome affects people, such as the research conducted at the University of New South Wales in Australia, the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, the University College London, and the University at Albany in New York.
The project, “Unravelling the mystery of Down Syndrome: How it can affect behaviour and quality of life,” is looking into the impact of Down syndrome on children and their behaviour.
Dr Rachael Mckenna, a professor in psychology at the Queensland Government-funded university said the project aims to identify what people’s perceptions of how others act are, and how that influences their own behaviour.
“We want to find out whether they’re seeing a spectrum or whether there’s some really important difference between being a person who is normal or who is very different, and what we’re trying to figure out is how does that shape the way they behave?”
Dr Mckenny said.
“People with Down Syndrome are much more likely to be very introverted, very introspective and have a tendency to be a bit withdrawn.
So we need to understand how this affects them.”
Dr Mackenna said it was important that researchers were looking at the role of Down in the life of the individual.
“They might be very different people to one another, but they’re all related and they have a common life, so we want to understand what their lives are like.”
Dress up for dress down syndrome study The DSRI’s research website also contains a number social media features, including a link to the DSRI Facebook page, where people can discuss how they feel about their own physical appearance and how others view them.
“A lot of people are very concerned about how people who have Down syndrome dress,” Dr Mcken said.
“It might not be just a matter of dressing the way you want, but how you think about yourself and what you are able to do.”
Dr Mackenna said the research needed to be conducted in a way that was “fair and accurate, with a healthy balance between how people with Down look and how they interact with others”.
“If there is something that is perceived to be ‘wrong’ or ‘not good’ then the response will be that people will dress inappropriately, and that can be quite harmful,” she said.
The researchers also have a dedicated page for people with DSD that offers support for people experiencing difficulties with dressing and their friends.
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