Parent Support Programs
Aging With Down Syndrome
Caregivers of individuals with Down syndrome over the age of 30 are invited to this support group sponsored by DSAWM and Alzheimer’s Association. Participants share experiences and discuss the process of caring for loved ones growing older with Down syndrome. Visit the DSAWM calendar to find the next meeting.
DSAWM dads work to create positive change in our community by volunteering with other West Michigan organizations that provide services to DSAWM families and hosting DNO (Dads’ Night Out). Like MNO, DNO invites fathers raising children with Down syndrome to meet at local restaurants and share experience and support. DSAWM pays for first-time attendees (excluding alcohol). Visit the DSAWM calendar for upcoming dates. To learn more, contact Dads coordinator Rich Kloeckner at email@example.com or visit the Dads Facebook Page.
Member Financial Assistance
DSAWM’s Member Financial Assistance Fund is designed to provide financial support to families raising individuals with Down syndrome who need help with certain Down syndrome-related expenses. To learn more and apply, visit our Financial Assistance page.
MNO (Moms’ Night Out)
DSAWM hosts monthly MNO gatherings in three locations: Lakeshore (Grand Haven/Muskegon), Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo. Mothers raising children with Down syndrome meet at local restaurants to share experiences and support. DSAWM pays for first-time attendees meals (excluding alcohol). Visit the DSAWM calendar for upcoming dates.
New Parent Packet
DSAWM provides our New Parent Packet to parents who are welcoming a new child with Down syndrome into their family. The packet is full of helpful information about what to expect during the first few years of your child’s life, the joys and challenges associated with a Down syndrome diagnosis, and the services and support that DSAWM and other area organizations offer. To request a packet, contact us at 616-956-3488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents For Parents Mentoring
Parents for Parents mentors are a group of “veteran” moms and dads who provide support for expectant and new parents. If you are interested in being connected to a parent mentor or becoming a mentor, contact DSAWM at 616-956-3488 or email@example.com.
Weekly Update and DSA Press Newsletters
The Weekly Update is emailed every Thursday and shares information about our programming schedule as well as upcoming community events and opportunities. The DSA Press is our tri-annual newsletter featuring personal stories, informational articles, and news relevant to the West Michigan Down syndrome community. This more substantial newsletter is published electronically and emailed to members and community partners three times each year in the winter (February), summer (August), and fall (November). Join our mailing list to begin receiving these publications.
Workshops & Conferences
Informational workshops and conferences are periodically held to address topics relevant to parents/caregivers of, and professionals who work with, individuals with Down syndrome. Topics previously presented on have included behavior, adaptive and therapeutic devices, and potty training. Visit the DSAWM calendar to find upcoming learning opportunities. Information from past workshops and conferences can be found on our Resources page.