The first association for Williams syndrome in the Balkans
To offer support for people with Williams syndrome (WS) and their families
To raise awareness of WS in the countries of the former Yugoslavia by educating medical and educational professionals about this condition
To actively support research related to the educational, social, scientific and medical aspects of WS
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We hope that by raising awareness of conditions such as WS, we will help fight stigma associated with intellectual and physical disabilities that is unfortunately still very much prevalent in this part of the world.
By educating professionals about the acute health problems and needs specific to individuals with WS, we aim to help early diagnosis and provision of relevant medical assistance, as well as help provide educational opportunities desperately needed by children and adults with WS.
By getting the families together, where families from different parts of former Yugoslavia will maybe for the first time meet another child or adult with WS, we hope to create a community where people will share their experiences and support each other.
Our members are children and adults with WS and their families from Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. We welcome members from all the countries of former Yugoslavia.
We're organising the first conference on Williams syndrome in the Balkans, for health practitioners and for families, in Novi Sad, Serbia, on 20 October 2019. For details and programme, click here.
Our association was founded in April 2017 by researchers from University College London (Dr Alexandra Perovic), University of Novi Sad (Dr Sabina Halupka-Resetar, Dr Dusica Filipovic-Djurdjevic) and teachers from the Secondary School Dr Milan Petrovic, Novi Sad, together with families of individuals with WS from Novi Sad, Belgrade and Valjevo. Our team consists of volunteers who are medical doctors, teachers and students of special education and rehabilitation and other medical and educational professionals.
Last year, Alexandra raised money to fund travel of two of our members and their carers to the biannual WS conference organised by the UK Williams Syndrome Foundation, which took place in Skegness, UK. See pictures here.