John Rynders

Professor, University of Minnesota, describing the innovative Project EDGE on Down Syndrome he directed

(Run time 1:30)

It was an early intervention program; the parents provided their children with play enriched language instruction, and it went from infancy through a preschool period and then finally ended when they entered the public schools, in kindergarten usually.

It started by trying to enrich their language development and then, by doing so, help them do a better job in school learn to read, write and do arithmetic. Ultimately, to be able to get a job and live somewhat independently.

Most people with Down Syndrome hold worthy jobs—not all of them sheltered, some of them competitive. All the way from working… I can think of people from our project now as adults who are working. One is a salad maker, salad manager at, one of the Perkins. Several work in fast food. One is a wait person at one of the golf courses. One is a professional actor with InterAct theater which is an integrated theater program and is really, literally is their star at the present time. So they have a variety of employment situations, so different than it would have been in the old days.