The Down Syndrome Foundation of Cantabria explains their work with people with Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome Foundation of Cantabria
The Down Syndrome Foundation of Cantabria has been serving people with Down syndrome throughout the region since 1982. Based on the fundamental idea of respect for the person, its essential objective is to promote and carry out all activities which contribute to improving their living conditions, favoring their full integration into the family, school, work and all areas of society to which they may have access.
We provide support to people with Down’s syndrome and their families from the first days of life, and maintain it over the years through different programs.
Furthermore, since its beginnings the Foundation has been studying, researching and designing programmes and educational methods specifically designed for students with Down’s syndrome, which have been applied both inside and outside Cantabria. These initiatives have been joined by external programmes and initiatives which we consider to be of special interest to them, such as the cognitive stimulation platform NeuronUP. The Down Syndrome Foundation of Cantabria has been using this tool since 2018.
Our first contact with the platform took place at the Aura Foundation in Barcelona, through a multimedia presentation by Iñigo Fernández de Piérola, its director. After a few test sessions, it was decided to incorporate the platform into the working sessions of the different age groups served by our foundation.
Working with people with Down syndrome by age group
1. The group of 10 school-age students (12-16 years old):
This group comes to the centre every week for a morning to receive complementary attention to that offered by their ordinary educational centre.
During this time, we teach them compensatory cognitive strategies that can be applied to the needs of daily life.
Knowing that an adequate stimulation increases the number of connections between brain neurons, which in turn manifests itself in a greater and better adaptation of the individual to his environment, the work with NeuronUP is especially interesting for them.
The specific cognitive stimulation also allows to improve their learning process and to consolidate concepts, producing a transference in the academic performance as well as in the performances of the daily life.
We design individualized digital sessions of 35 minutes that are received with enthusiasm and great interest by the students. The design of the activities is attractive and very varied, and the possibility of personalizing the exercises with themes that they like contributes to motivation.
2. A group of 16 people from Supported Employment:
It meets two afternoons a week to receive continuous training that allows the development and maintenance of their personal, social and intellectual skills.
NeuronUP helps to strengthen and empower all cognitive functions, for an optimal functioning of the cognitive abilities important for people’s daily life. It has proven to be effective in improving memory, attention, executive functions and language, and thus preventing the cognitive decline associated with aging.
The brain training sessions are 45 minutes long, alternating exercise books, NeuronUP, and visual, auditory and tactile praxis and gnosis activities. In this way we try to open the participants to changing activities that function as small daily challenges, forcing them to make a certain mental effort.
This group participates in a longitudinal study on the benefits of cognitive stimulation in adults with Down’s syndrome, in collaboration with the Department of Education of the University of Cantabria. By means of the pre-post test evaluation method of 5 significant variables, it is expected to obtain valid information to optimize and adjust, if necessary, the objectives and contents of these sessions.
Both groups and their families have welcomed with enthusiasm and interest the work carried out with NeuronUP. The possibility of choosing the age range, the visual presentation of the activities, the degree of difficulty, as well as the management of the results and the evaluation of each user make it easier for the professional to follow up closely on each one of them.
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