For Children and Adults with Down Syndrome: Strategies to Survive and Thrive Despite Challenges of Concrete Thought and Behavior

Date: Wednesday, 23. February 2022, 17.00 h. CET, per Zoom
Speaker: Dr. Dennis E. McGuire
Translation: Croatian, Czech, German, French, Turkish and Ukrainian
Registration link:

Children and adults with Down syndrome can survive and thrive despite concrete forms of thinking and behaving, which may greatly limit communication, flexibility, adaptive-ness to change, as well as to negatively affect their perception of time and humor.

There are in fact huge benefits to concrete thinking and also host of adaptive strategies that take advantage of other strengths and resources to manage this problem. This includes the use of role play in groups and natural settings capitalizing on visual cues, and on “grooves” (set patterns and routines), to transfer or learn new skills in a new setting.

We will also discuss better ways to use their superb but quite often under-developed intuition and social sensitivity to enhance social relations. Finally, like all of us people with DS need power and control and their attempts may become a little extreme or misguided but not if there is an understanding and encouragement for healthy and productive ways to do for self at each stage of life.

Dennis E McGuire Ph.D.,
Evanston, Illinois USA


Dr. Dennis McGuire has over 45 years of experience in the field of mental health and developmental disabilities and is the former Director of Psychosocial Services for the Adult Down Syndrome Center of Lutheran General Hospital in suburban Chicago, the largest, most prestigious clinic for adults with Down syndrome in the United States. He helped establish the center, which serves over 4,000 unique adult patients with Down syndrome each year.

Dr. McGuire keynotes at events around the world and is the co-author of two prominent books about promoting wellbeing in adults with Down syndrome: Mental Wellness of Adults with Down Syndrome, 2nd edition (2021), and The Guide to Good Health for Teens and Adults with Down Syndrome (2011), both by Woodbine House. He received the National Down Syndrome Congress Theodore D. Tjossem Research Award in 2003 and the World Down Syndrome Day Scientific Award in 2010.

As a consultant for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, Dr. McGuire has played an integral role in the development of a future world class multidisciplinary clinic serving adults and serves as a lead author on the updated Medical Care Guidelines for Adults with Down Syndrome. McGuire continues to see couples, families and individuals in a private practice in the Chicago area.