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Upper St. Clair family's efforts pay off as governor signs Down syndrome education bill

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 10:42 p.m.
 

Gov. Tom Corbett signed a bill that requires genetic counselors and other types of health care practitioners to provide parents with educational information once the practitioner make a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis.

The legislation became law last week thanks in large part to 11-year-old Chloe Kondrich of Upper St. Clair, who has Down syndrome.

Dubbed the Down Syndrome Prenatal Education Act, the law should encourage access to support services, First Call programs, resource centers and a state-funded early intervention program, as well as information about how a child with Down syndrome, a genetic disorder, will develop. The disorder causes intellectual disabilities and developmental delays.

Kondrich's parents, Kurt and Margie, have led the effort behind the law since their daughter was born in 2003. Kurt Kondrich left a job in law enforcement to take on an advocacy role. He serves on the Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention.

“We are proud of Chloe and commend her parents for their devotion to early intervention efforts and becoming advocates for children affected by Down syndrome and their families throughout the Commonwealth,” said Patrick T. O'Toole, superintendent of Upper St. Clair School District, where Chloe is a student.

Megan Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5815 or mharris@tribweb.com.

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