New Parent Resources
Congratulations on the birth or expected birth of your baby! You probably have lots of questions. You may be grieving the loss of the baby you expected. You may be angry. These feelings are normal. The most important thing for you to keep in mind is that a Down syndrome diagnosis is not as “life changing” as the fact that you have a new baby. And in most ways, your baby will be just like other infants. He or she will need to be fed, held, and loved. There will be many joys in raising your baby, as well as some challenges along the way. Down syndrome is a condition your baby has, but it is not who your baby is. It’s normal to be nervous about what lies ahead.
Know that when you are ready, the DSAWM is here to support you. Many new parents have found that the single most helpful thing they did after receiving a Down syndrome diagnosis was to talk to other parents of children with Down syndrome. When you are ready, please contact our office at 616-956-3488 to speak with our Director who can help you with additional resources, information, and supports. You can also email our Director at email@example.com.
Become a DSAWM Member
DSAWM’s membership is comprised of over 300 families across 12 West Michigan counties. In addition to the outreach that we do within the community through our partnerships and advocacy initiatives, we also offer a wide variety of programming for our members from birth to adulthood. You can read more about our programs and services on the Our Programs page. The annual $25 membership fee is waived for new parents, so your first year of access to the programs, services, and events that we offer is free to you and your family! Most importantly, as a DSAWM you join a community of advocates and families who are all committed to the same mission: embracing Down syndrome, empowering individuals, and promoting opportunities for meaningful lives.
New & Expectant Parent Gifts
DSAWM provides new and expectant parents with accurate, up-to-date, compassionate information from leading Down syndrome and medical experts in the form of our New Parent Packet. Expecting parents can also receive information explaining prenatal testing. When new babies arrive, families receive a gift celebrating their new addition. To request information, contact DSAWM at 616-956-3488 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Parents For Parents
Parents for Parents mentors are a group of “veteran” moms and dads who have stood in the shoes of new parents of babies with Down syndrome. 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 Newsletter
The Weekly Update newsletter is emailed every Thursday and shares upcoming programs and services from DSAWM and our community partners. For new parents, it is an easy way to get connected and learn about the opportunities available to you and your family. Receive the Weekly Update
Local Resources To Begin With
Early On Michigan (517-668-0185) provides free services to families who have children (0-3) who have medical problems or are developmentally delayed. Services can include information, evaluation, linking to services, parent network, and financial help. County numbers are:
- Allegan (269) 673-2161
- Barry (269) 945-9545
- Ionia (616) 522-1410
- Kalamazoo (269) 250-9649
- Kent (616) 365-2384
- Mecosta (231) 796-2624
- Montcalm (616) 754-9107
- Muskegon (231) 767-7256
- Newaygo (231) 652-3843
- Oceana (231) 873-5651
- Ottawa (877) 702-8602
- Van Buren (269) 674-8091
Children’s Special Health Cares Services (CSHCS) of Michigan provides low or no cost supplemental health insurance for a variety of covered medical diagnoses for individuals under 21 years old. While Down syndrome alone is not a qualifying diagnosis, CSHCS covers over 2,700 physical conditions of which many individuals with Down syndrome may experience at least one. A complete list of covered conditions can be viewed here. Find your county’s CSHCS branch
Michigan Parents of Children with Down Syndrome Facebook Group is an online community for parents and caregivers in Michigan who have children with Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities. Sharing experiences, asking questions, posting inspiring items, and sharing resources and news from the special needs community are all enthusiastically encouraged!