Down Syndrome Albania Foundation

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Down Syndrome Albania Foundation (DSA) is a non for profit parental, organization, aiming to improve the lives of individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) and of their families living in Albania. It is founded in June 2013 by parents of a child with Down syndrome. Since June 2014 it is operational the DSA Achievement and Development Center, that offers free therapeutic services to 0-10 years old children with Down syndrome. It is the first center of its kind in Albania (offering a one stop point service for families) and for the moment it serves to 36 children with DS and also supports many parents by providing valuable information and organizing trainings on DS aspects. At our DSA Achievement & Development Center we offer (entirely free) : - Evaluation from the multidisciplinary team (psychologist, speech and language pathologist, physical therapist and a pediatric doctor. The parent input is important at this stage as well) - Development and Occupational Therapy - ABA Therapy - Speech and Language therapy - Music therapy and art therapy - Group therapy for parents through the support groups and focus groups - Free Legal Counseling for Parents encountering with injustice in developing their children rights.

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Current projects

In the last months, DSA has published the first manual for helping teachers that work with pupils with down syndrome in the education system. DSA also has build two therapy room, one in kindergarten and one in nursery, has established and equipped a room in nurseries and kindergarten, with the appropriate tools in order to be able to provide necessary services for children with Intellectual Disabilities and also is training the supportive staff who will provide services for children with Intellectual Disabilities in nursery or kindergarten. DSA wish to continue adding the therapy room in different cities and schools as a way to increase the services and their accessibility because there is a great lack of services mostly in other cities than the capital Tirana. Now DSA is also focusing and will start a new project to help on the social and personal autonomy of children and individuals with Down syndrome over 13 years old.

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