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28 October 2011
Children with Down’s syndrome have had the chance to meet their footballing heroes during a special event at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
Cardiff City players Andy Taylor and Mark Hudson held balls skills sessions with the youngsters at the launch of the Only Way is Up exhibition which aims to raise positive awareness of Down’s syndrome.
CBeebies star Alex Winter also hosted storytelling for the children, who took part in drama, music, art and circus skills workshops.
The exhibition features images and posters by Mike O’Carroll and was organised by Ups and Downs Southwest, a support group for parents and carers of children with Down’s syndrome with support from Dr Maggie Woodhouse from the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences.
Dr Woodhouse said: "Our perception of Down’s syndrome has come a long way over recent years and the bleak, old fashioned, stereotype image of the condition is fast disappearing and being replaced by a much more positive and active vision of children and young people who are ‘out there’ achieving more than was ever expected of them in the past.
"By organising this event Ups and Downs Southwest are eager to point out to new parents that although no-one can promise you what your child will be able to do – equally no-one can tell you what your child won’t be able to do and we really hope this event will encourage parents, as well as medical professionals, to focus more on the positive side of Down ‘s syndrome."
Wendy Hellowell from Ups and Downs Southwest added: "This exhibition shows wonderful images of children and young people with Down’s syndrome loving life and amazing those around them with their capacity to learn, progress and make their way confidently and happily through the supportive, interesting and vibrant world of today.
"It is vitally important that parents and all those involved in the care and support of both the child born with Down’s syndrome and the family, have positive and enthusiastic aspirations and visions of the future. This exhibition seeks to alter and improve the vision and expectations surrounding Down’s syndrome as a condition and leave people feeling much more positive and ‘up beat’ about these wonderful children and young people."
The Only Way is Up exhibition will be open to the public in the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences until the end of November.
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