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October 18, 2012

Pathfinder Village to host free conference

The Pathfinder Village in Edmeston will host a free full day conference featuring national speakers discussing Down syndrome and other disorders from differing perspectives.

According to a media release, the conference will better inform parents, caregivers and professionals on emerging research and best practices. The release said it will also help foster an understanding of the medical issues and family experiences of celebrating life with Down syndrome. 

The conference is a cooperative venture among its sponsors; the Kennedy-Willis Center at Pathfinder Village, the Mid-South Early Childhood Direction Center, the Southern Tier Special Education Parent Center, and the Family Resource Network of Oneonta. It will be held throughout Pathfinder Village from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Pathfinder Village is an innovative planned community that serves the residential and educational needs of children and adults who have Down syndrome and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1980, Pathfinder offers a variety of individualized educational, residential, vocational programs and family support services, addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities across the lifespan.

The keynote speaker at the conference will be Dr. Brian Skotko. He is a board-certified medical geneticist and co-director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Skotko has dedicated his career toward children with cognitive and development disabilities. In 2001 he co-authored the national award-winning book, “Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome” and, most recently, “Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters.” He is a graduate of Duke University, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School.

Skotko recently authored major research on how physicians deliver diagnoses of Down syndrome to new and expectant parents. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, NPR’s "On Point" and ABC’s "Good Morning America." 

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