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Elementary

Thank You for Joining!

By becoming a member, you will have more access to our programs, events and information. There is no cost to becoming a member.

Please select which option best describes you and please provide as much information as possible. This will help us to ensure that our current programs are meeting the needs of our members.

 

Welcome

We are here to support you in every way possible and welcome you to contact us with any questions you may have.  

We understand that this time must be filled with mixed emotions for you and your family, and we want you to know that you are not alone in your journey.  

Our Director of Family Support is available to new and expectant families 24/7. 
  • Contact: Michelle Slape - Michelle@dscba.org (925) 362-8660 x104 
  • Bilingual Family support is available for Spanish-speaking families.  

Below you will find information that can be helpful for this stage of your families journey, as well as programs offered for this Age & Stage. 

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What Is an IEP? | Individualized Education Program Explained


Navigating your child’s Individualized Education Program/Plan (IEP) is a BIG job.  Check out these great IEP resources from our “tried and true” experts.  

Inclusion Resources


Special Education is not a location... it is a wide range of supports and services that help students with disabilities learn and make meaningful progress.  Read more about inclusion and discover effective strategies that help maximize your child’s engagement and participation at school.  

 

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)


Did you know that your child is entitled to differentiated teaching and learning approaches that help remove barriers and increase access to a more meaningful and equitable education?  Thanks to Every Student Succeeds Act (2015), students of ALL abilities can now learn in ways that support their unique strengths and areas of need.  Check out these helpful resources and discover the wonderful world of Universal Design for Learning, differentiation, and best practices that support an equitable education for your learner.  

  • Every Student Succeeds Act, 2015
  • UDL Guidelines – The team of dedicated educators and specialists at CAST are experts in all things related to UDL.  Check out their website to learn more about UDL and gain a better understanding of how to advocate for differentiated learning for your child. 
  • UDL Principles and Practices – Learn the basic principles of UDL in this informative video presented by the National Center for Universal Design for Learning. 

 

Behavior in School


Navigating a demanding school environment can be challenging for learners with Down syndrome and at some point, your child may engage in non-preferred behaviors.  This is not uncommon, and we’ve found there are often very identifiable and valid functions of behavior, such as limited or no access to multi-modal communication tools and inappropriate demand.  

Learn more about common behaviors in individuals with Down syndrome and discover effective strategies you can share with your child’s IEP team to help reduce problem behaviors and foster a positive learning experience for all! 

 

Communication Resources


Your child deserves to be heard.  DSCBA offers a wide range of communication resources that support complex communication needs and empower you with the tools you need to advocate for a comprehensive communication plan for your child in school.  Discover multi-modal communication supports and strategies that empower your child with a voice! 

More information

 

Special Education Law and Advocacy Resources


As your child’s best expert and an equal part of the IEP team, YOU can make a positive and meaningful impact on your child’s education.  Empower yourself with the knowledge you need to be an informed parent/caregiver and an effective advocate! 

 

MENTAL HEALTH


According to the National Down Syndrome Society at least half of all children and adults with Down syndrome will face a major mental health concern during their life, a statistic that is similar to the general US population. The most common mental health concerns in individuals with Down syndrome include anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, oppositional behaviors, depression, and tic disorder.  

  • Mental health assessments should include an assessment of physical health to ensure that any physical issues are not affecting mental health in any way. 
  • A good resource on Mental Health written by Dr. Brian Chicoine and Dennis McGuire, may be found in our library; Mental Health in Adults with Down Syndrome, Second Edition 

MENTAL HEALTH ALLIANCE


In 2021, the DSCBA implemented a Mental Health Alliance (MHA) pilot program. We work with local clinicians, providing them with training and communication tools/ supports to better equip them to treat members with Down syndrome. Working closely with the clinicians, we have been able to provide access to both one-on-one and group tele-therapy for those expressing a need. 

The Mental Health Alliance has created an online resource of communication tools and visual supports.

Mental Health Alliance Padlet

If you would like to learn more about this program, please contact Marianne@dscba.org. 

 

Current Programs Available

Connection Groups

Early Connections offers a friendly and supportive environment for parents and their babies (ages 0–3). We share helpful information to support your baby’s development. Some months we invite guest speakers and focus on a specific topic.

2024 Schedule

Early Connections

Wednesdays - 7:00pm-8:30pm

*adjusted date

Saturdays - 9:30am-11:00am

  • Location: DSCBA Office, 101-J Town and Country Dr, Danville
  • Jan 20, Feb 24, Mar 23*, Apr 20**, May 25, Jun 15*** Jul 21****, Aug 24, Sep 28, Oct 26, Nov 23
    • * Early Connections World Down Syndrome Day Celebration (March 23)
    • ** Play4All Park playdate at 815 Elmira Rd, Vacaville (April 20)
    • *** June 15th is a workshop with Dr Noemi Spinazzi - Supporting Health and Development in Infants and Toddlers with Down Syndrome
    • **** SUNDAY at Spirited Play Labs, Berkeley - must register, space is limited. Age limit to use the equipment is up to 8 years old for children. Older siblings are welcome but not allowed to use the equipment.

 


Las Conexiones Tempranas ofrecen un entorno amigable y de apoyo para los padres y sus bebés (de 0 a 3 años). Compartimos virtualmente información útil para apoyar el desarrollo de su bebé. Algunos meses invitamos a oradores invitados y nos enfocamos en un tema específico.

CONEXIONES TEMPRANAS en español

 Jueves - 3:00pm - 4:30pm

This is a great opportunity to meet with other DSCBA parents to support each other with knowledge and information needed to meet the educational needs of your children and more. Share information and resources on many topics relating to your children, including educational best practices, health concerns, etc. In addition sometimes we host guest speakers from various professions to help contribute expert knowledge, answer questions, and provide resources to our network of parents.

2024 Meeting Times:

Please email Programs@dscba.org if you have any questions.

This is a great opportunity to meet with other DSCBA parents to support each other with knowledge and information needed to meet the educational needs of your children and more. Share information and resources on many topics relating to your children, including educational best practices, health concerns, etc. In addition sometimes we host guest speakers from various professions to help contribute expert knowledge, answer questions, and provide resources to our network of parents.

Coordinator: Laurie Hawley

Location: Virtual via Zoom

2022 Meeting Times:

Thursday: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Oct 13th, Nov 3rd

Please email Programs@dscba.org if you have any questions. 

Mom’s Coffee Chat

Moms of children of all ages are welcomed to join in on an opportunity to get together in the comfort of your own home with fellow moms and share in the joys and challenges of parenting.

2024 Meeting Time/Dates:

Please email Programs@dscba.org if you have any questions. 



Dad’s Night

Dads of children of all ages are welcomed to join in on an opportunity to get to meet other dads.  This is a perfect way to get together in the comfort of your own home with other dads and share in the joys and challenges of parenting.

2024 Meeting Time/Dates:

Please email Programs@dscba.org if you have any questions. 

f you are caring for someone with DS who exhibits symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia please join us in this monthly virtual meeting.

Meeting Times/Dates - 3rd Thursday of the Month: 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Sep 15, Oct 20, Nov 17, Dec 15

Facilitator: Marianne Iversen, Paula Gann

Location: Virtual

Email: marianne@dscba.org

Grandparents of children with Down syndrome are welcomed and encouraged to join this monthly group. This is an opportunity to exchange information, share common experiences, and be encouraged by other grandparents with similar issues and concerns.

2024 Meeting Time/Dates:

  • Facilitator: Michelle Slape, Michelle@dscba.org 
  • Location: Hybrid - Zoom / DSCBA, 101-J Town and Country Dr, Danville
  • 10:00am–11:30am, Third Wednesday of the month
  • Jan 24, Feb 21, Mar 20, Apr 17*, May 15, Jul 17, Aug 21*, Sep 18, Oct 16, Nov 20, Dec 18*
    • In - person meetings in Danville office are marked with "*"
    • All other meetings dates by Zoom.

 

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Sibling Support

Brothers and sisters of those with Down syndrome tend to be compassionate, understanding, wonderful people. But we also know that being the brother or sister of someone with Down syndrome can have its tough times, too!  

If you would like more information about resources please contact info@dscba.org 


Additional Resources

Organizations:

  • Sibling Leadership Network: www.siblingleadership.org   
    • Provides siblings of individuals with disabilities tools to advocate for their sibling and for issues important to their family.
  • Sibling Support Project: www.siblingsupport.org
    • A national network to provide support to siblings of people with disabilities. Sibling support workshops (SIBSHOPS) are available throughout the country.
  • National Down Syndrome Congress for ADULT SIBLINGS: www.ndsccenter.org/adult-siblings 
  • National Down Syndrome Society: Caring For Your Family

Books about Siblings and Down syndrome*:

  • Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters
    • Brian Skotko and Susan Levine (Woodbine House, 2009). Uses a question and answer format to address questions from teens who have a sibling with Down syndrome.
  • 47 Strings: Tessa's Special Code
    • Carey, Becky (Little Creek Press, 2012). A big brother learns about his little sister’s special code. A book to help explain Down syndrome to young children.
  • Sibshops-
    • Meyer, Don and Patricia Vadasy, revised edition (Brookes Publishing, 2008). A guide to organizing workshops for siblings according to the SibShop model.
  • Special Brothers and Sisters-
    • Hames, Annette and Monica McCaffrey, editors (Jessica Kinsgley, 2005). Accounts from real-life siblings of children with special needs.
  • Special Siblings-
    • McHugh, Mary, Revised Edition (Brookes Publishing, 2003). Interviews with more than a 100 siblings and experts.
  • The Sibling Slam Book-
    • Meyer, Don, editor (Woodbine House, 2005). Eighty teenagers talk about what it is like to have a brother or sister with special needs.
  • The Sibling Survival Guide-Indispensable Information for Brothers and Sisters of Adults with Disabilities
    • Meyer, Don and Emily Holl, editors (Woodbine House, 2014). Advice for siblings on topics ranging from communication to medical and legal issues.
  • Views from Our Shoes
    • Meyer, Don, editor (Woodbine House, 1997). Essays from children who have a sibling with a disability.
  • We'll Paint the Octopus Red-
    • Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen, (Woodbine House, 1998). A little girl prepares to welcome her new baby brother with Down syndrome. Ages 3-7.
  • Your Loved One is Having a Baby with Down Syndrome-
    • When you learn that someone you love is expecting a baby with Down syndrome, you naturally have concerns, and wonder what to say and do. This book will help you through your initial, normal reactions of sadness, shock, and worry, and give you the information and perspective you need to welcome a baby with Down syndrome.

*Check to see if a copy is available to borrow from our Lending Library 

Email the Lending Library

We have several private Facebook Groups to serve the needs of our diverse membership.  Please click through the links to request to join. Our main Facebook page is located here.

  • Young Connections at DSCBA
    • A DSCBA Connection group for parents of young and elementary-aged children. This private group provides a place to share and support one another in a respectful environment. 
       
  • DSCBA Homeschoolers
    • This private group, a part of the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), is open to parents, family members and caregivers who homeschool a child or adult having Down syndrome. This group also welcomes parents or persons in the Bay Area seeking more information about homeschooling their loved one with Down syndrome. This is a place for families to ask questions and share advice, resources, and experiences about the unique challenges, added stress, struggles and successes of homeschooling. The focus is on helping each other to find possible solutions, along with sharing humorous stories, in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
  • DSCBA Conexión de Síndrome Down del Área de la Bahía
    • Down Syndrome Connection es una organización apasionada y dedicada a fomentar el potencial ilimitado en niños y adultos con síndrome de Down en todo el Área de la Bahía de San Francisco desde 1998.
      Este es un lugar para que las familias y cualquier persona con un ser querido con el síndrome de Down puedan hacer preguntas, compartir consejos, recursos y experiencias sobre los desafíos únicos, el estrés adicional, los retos y los éxitos. La atención se centra en ayudarse mutuamente a encontrar posibles soluciones, junto con historias divertidas, en un entorno seguro y sin prejuicios.
       
  • DSCBA Dual Diagnosis Support
    • This private group, a part of the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), is open to parents, family members, caregivers, and others working with a child or adult having Down syndrome and autism in the Bay Area. This group also welcomes parents or persons in the Bay Area seeking more information about a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism.
      This is a place for families, and anyone touched by a person having dual diagnosis, to ask questions, share advice, resources, and experiences about the unique challenges, added stress, struggles and successes. The focus is on helping each other to find possible solutions, along with humorous stories, in a safe, non-judgmental environment.

Music Therapy Sessions

In Person Music Therapy
  • IN PERSON MUSIC THERAPY POLICIES:

  • Indoor Sessions  
    • Must register in advance to attend
    • Registration closes 2 days before each session or when the session is full
    • There is a 6 participant minimum and 16 participant maximum 
    • Parent or Guardian must be present to assist their child as needed.
    • We may limit sibling participation for classes that frequently become full in order to make room for more families.

 


TO REGISTER: Please Click on the Class & date you wish to attend.

  • Danville Music Therapy for Babies & Crawling Children: 2nd Saturday of the month
    • Location: DSCBA Office Classroom, 101 J Town & Country Dr., Danville   
    • 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. -  Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 11, Jun 8, Jul 27, Aug 10, Sep 14, Oct 12
  • Danville Music Therapy for Walking Toddlers - YearOld (no siblings) : 2nd Saturday of the month
    •   Location: DSCBA Office Classroom, 101 J Town & Country Dr., Danville  
    •  11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 9 , Apr 13 , May 11, Jun 8, Jul 27, Aug 10, Sep 14, Oct 12  
  • Danville Music Therapy for Tweens & Teens, 10-1YearOld: 2nd Saturday of the month
    • Location: DSCBA Office Classroom, 101 J Town & Country Dr., Danville 
    • 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Jan 13, Feb 10, Mar 9, Apr 13, May 11, Jun 8, Jul 27, Aug 10, Sep 14, Oct 12
  • Santa Rosa Music Therapy for 12 & under: 2nd Saturday
    • Location: DSCBA Office, 400 Aviation Dr, Santa Rosa
    • 10:00 am – 11:00 am -   Jan 13, Feb 10
  • Santa Rosa Music Therapy for Teens & Adults: 2nd Saturday
    • Location: DSCBA Office, 400 Aviation Dr, Santa Rosa
    • 11:30 am – 12:30 pm -  Jan 13, Feb 10

THRIVE Sessions

Elementary THRIVE is educationally and developmentally appropriate for children ages 8-11 with Down syndrome, combining cognitive skill development with positive social and behavioral interaction with a focus on fine and gross motor skills.  

Danville Elementary THRIVE (Ages 8-11)

Mondays: 4 - 5:30 pm

Facilitator: Denise Christiansen

Summer Session - Cancelled due to low interest

Fall Session - Stay Tuned

 

For more information email: Programs@dscba.org 

Here is a preview video of the Early Elementary THRIVE program from previous years (formerly Peer Development Class) 

Our Mission

To empower, inspire and support people with Down Syndrome, their families and the community that serves them, while fostering awareness and acceptance in all areas of life.