Skate Out of Summer Family Fun Night and APD Registration Event / iCan Work Kick-off Event on Monday, August 6 @ Semoran Skate in CasselberryiCan Communicate Summer Workshop / Training Saturday, July 28 at the UCF Student Union
Talk Tools Clinic May 21-24, 2012 Rene Roy-Hill will be returned to Orlando to facilitate one on one evaluations for oral motor, speech and feeding issues. Known for its fun programs using horns, straws and other creative methodologies that help individuals with Down syndrome obtain speech clarity and strength needed for articulation and feeding issues this innovate program was provided to 17 members of the Foundation this past spring. She will be back in December 2012 to serve more families.
Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Homeschool Convention, May 24-27 @ Gaylord Palms Hotel in Orlando, FL
The FL Homeschool Convention is an excellent opportunity for any family to gain valuable tips on how to incorporate education into your home environment. There were motivational and educational speakers as well as hundreds of vendors with resources for every age, grade and ability.
Nathaniel's Hope 10th Annual Make 'm Smile on Saturday, June 2 @ Lake Eola in downtown Orlando from 7:30am -1pm
There was something for EVERYONE at this event! This outdoor 'festival' showcased vendors, activities, entertainment and food all for Nathaniel's Hope VIPs.
World Down Syndrome Day - Wednesday, March 21, 2012 was celebrated by The Foundation with a picnic at Bill Fredrick Park at Turkey Lake and the kick off of our iCan Communicate Class II where The Foundation and UCF offered evaluations, customization and training on communication apps for the iPad for 15 of our families. The event kicked off at the UCF Speech Disorders Clinic and wrapped up with a Spring Fling luncheon and egg hunt at the Rosen School of Hospitality Management on Saturday, March 24.
Tour of Champions Bowl-a-Thon 2012 held on Sunday, February 12 was a HUGE success! There were 32 teams bowling down barriers to inclusion! This year our annual fundraiser brought in nearly $75,000 in funding for programs and scholarships. This was a $25,000 increase over last year! Thank you to all of the sponsors and families who made this possible! With this success we will be able to expand our programming and scholarships - including the Lost The Training Wheels Camp this summer and our innovative iCan Work program that will launch in the Spring of 2012.
Winter Wonderland - It's a Wonderful Life 2011 on Friday, December 2 was our second annual holiday party and a HUGE success with nearly 200 families celebrating the holidays with dinner and dancing! Thank you for another WONDERFUL year of memories!
Changing Minds Foundation Seminar on Saturday, November 12 from 9am - 3pm The Foundation partnered with The Changing Minds Foundation to bring families in Florida an informational presentation / one day seminar about a topic that has caused a lot of 'buzz' in the Down syndrome community. There are several families who have implemented a protocol developed by Dr. Teresa Cody that is designed to improve memory and learning issues related to Trisomy 21. There was a comprehensive presentation, testimonials by families who are using the protocol and a question and answer session. This one day seminar has been given around the country and has gained national attention. The Foundation is not encouraging families to implement the protocol, however, we do feel that it is important for you to have access to the information and have the opportunity to learn about it and ask your questions. To see a video about the same presentation given in another community click here.
STAND For What You Believe Concert Presented by ALCATEL OneTouch benefiting Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida Saturday, November 5 at 7:30pm Hard Rock Live Orlando
Back to School DROP and SHOP on Saturday, September 10 from 9am - 1pm at Bailes Elementary The Foundation provided an opportunity for families to reduce, reuse and recycle by exchanging gently used clothes, toys and books. It was a HUGE success and will be repeated again....stay tuned for future dates.
Down Syndrome Awareness Month Kick-Off Camping Jamboree @ Disney's Fort Wilderness on October 1-2, 2011
The Foundation welcomed in Down Syndrome Awareness Month with two days and one night of family fun exploring Florida nature, camping, camp fires, good food and Disney fun. This event was for both the brave at heart (campers) and those who just wanted to 'pop' in for a few activities and sleep in their own beds for the night. There were over 100 participants that enjoyed the great outdoors and festivities at Disney as we welcomed in Down Syndrome Awareness Month. You can be sure there will be more camping after all the positive comments about this event! The Foundation is also developing a Lend-A-Tent Program for members so they can continue to camp and enjoy family time outside this fall.
Talk Tools Professional Training: A Seminar in Oral Motor Placement Therapy: Teaching Speech to Non-Verbal Individuals with Autism October 6-7 from 8am - 3pm at St. Margaret Mary Church The Foundation partnered with the Autism Society of Greater Orlando to provide training for speech and language professionals. The course cost $341 and was worth 1.2 CEU Credits. This was primarily for families with a child with the dual diagnosis of Autism and Down syndrome or a child with Down syndrome that is non-verbal. We recommended members to bring their speech and language provider. For more information about this program or other locations where it will be presented, contact Talk Tools directly at 866-369-4543 or visit their website at www.talktools.com
Talk Tools Parent Training on Thursday, October 6 @ 6:30pm at St. Margaret Mary Church Rene Roy Hill presented a condensed version of the Teaching Speech to Non-Verbal Individuals with Autism for members of The Foundation and The Autism Society of Greater Orlando. This presentation incorporated ABA (applied behavior analysis practices) with oral motor placement techniques that was valuable to almost every parent regardless if the individuals is non-verbal or not (although the focus for this discussion was non-verbal individuals the ABA practices were helpful for ALL parents). In addition to language the presentation included tips for speech and feeding.Love Worth Fighting For, July 30, 2011 @ 6pm at Cavalary Assembly in Winter Park, FL
International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association Annual Conference July 8-10 at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando Florida The Foundation welcomed IMDSA to Florida this summer! They held their 10th annual conference at the Hilton on Disney property. For details about the organization visit their website: www.imdsa.orgNathaniel's Hope 9th Annual Make 'm Smileon Saturday, June 4 @ Lake Eola in downtown Orlando from 7:30am -1pm
What's Behavior Got To Do With It? Thursday, January 20 @ 7pm at St. Margaret Mary Church on Park Avenue in Winter Park, FL
Back by popular demand, Kay Ness - a Nuerodevelopmentalist from Atlanta, GA, addressed the number one issue raised during her last visit / presentation; BEHAVIOR! The post event surveys showed that, by far, the most important issue parents wanted addressed was behavior - how to improve it, its impact on learning and what we can and should expect from our loved ones with Down syndrome....and quite possibly ourselves as parents / teachers and therapists. For over 60 years, the neurodevelopmental approach to working with learning, mobility, speech, language, processing and attention problems, has been offering hope to parents of children who have received a variety of labels. Whether the label is ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, learning disabled, CAPD, PDD, autism, Down syndrome, CP...it doesn’t matter. People trained in the neurodevelopmental approach look at the causes, train the parents to work with their child at home to address the problems, and also accelerate academics to help the child catch up.
How To Be A Great Volunteer Webinar on Thursday, December 9
This webinar will walked volunteers though some of the training and screening tools nonprofits use to better prepare them to ask questions and evaluate whether the organization is a good fit for them and their skills. Presented by two experienced volunteer managers it was is an opportunity for to ask questions and learn how to be a great volunteer. Sponsored by VolunteerMatch.com. For volunteer opportunities with The Foundation, click here.
Inaugural Winter Wonderland - It's a Wonderful Life Celebration: Friday, December 3
As The Foundation celebrated our first year in existence, we invited our charter members to join us for an unforgettable evening of dinner, dancing and holiday wonder! Although we don't get snow in Florida, members enjoyed a night filled with holiday music, wonderful food and activities for all! Mark your calendars for next December - this is sure to be an annual event!
Dr. Leichtman, MD on Thursday, November 11 @ 7pm at St Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park
Dr. Leichtman is a board-certified geneticist and pediatrician. He has more than 20 years experience in diagnosing and treating children and adults with genetic disorders. He sees and treats children and adults with Down syndrome and other genetic disorders, often using components of Targeted Nutritional Intervention. This intervention may be in the form of supplements or medications depending on the type of disorder and the patient’s underlying problems. This presentation will focused on the biological aspects of Down syndrome and TIN based on Dr. Leichtman's practice and experience. The presentation was geared for both parents and medical professionals and answered questions for both audiences. The objective of this evening was to provide members the opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of the biology of DS - not just to promote TNI or sell products. You can read more about TNI in a 2005 article in Alternative Medicine magazine that featured some of Dr. Leichtman's work.
GotSoccer Foundation One Day Festival of Soccer: Saturday, November 13 @ 10:45am - 3pm
The GotSoccer Foundation is a one day FREE event to all special needs soccer players. The children were engaged in a variety of soccer skills, drills and small sided games. The event was held at Duncan U Fletcher High School (San Pablo soccer fields) 700 Seagate Ave., Neptune Beach, FL.
The 4th Annual Blog Awareness Challenge - ALL MONTH LONG
Hundreds of bloggers used teh 31 for 21 button to recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month this year. Each of the bloggers commited to blog for 31 days about items relevant to Down syndrome. To learn more about the effort and link to over 200 participants in the project, click here.
MONICA & DAVID (movie) and Panel Discussion on Thursday, October 28 @ 6:30pm at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park
You have heard about the wonderful film that explores the marriage of two adults with Down syndrome and the family who strives to support their needs. The Family Life Ministry at St. Margaret Mary Parish, The Bishop Grady Villas, Morning Star School and DSFF partnered to provide the community with an evening of discussion about how the church can (and does) support families in our community with DS. We watched the movie, talked about how the faith community not only supports but learns with and from our loved ones with DS. The movie was the platform to our discussion about the role the faith community plays in helping our loved ones establish independence and fulfill their dreams and desires of marriage and belonging to their community. If you are interested in hosting a showing and discussion at your place of worship, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parent's Morning Out! Wednesday, October 13 at the Briarpatch
We did it AGAIN! We love the location, the food, the conversation and the company....about 10 parents joined us for coffee, tea and or Mango Mimosas! Our circle of friendship continues to grow..so feel free to invite someone to tag along regardless if they have a child with T21 genes or not - the more the merrier! These monthly events are informal gatherings for parents / friends so anyone is welcome. Hope to see you next month!
Making the Most of Your IEP: Thursday, September 30 St Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park
Are you interested in learning more about the legal foundation and the process of special education? As you start another school year of tracking goals, progress and all of the elements of your child's IEP do you feel organized? Do you have a system in place that allows you to show a complete picture of your child to the team that is educating him/her? Dr. Jonathan McIntire, Former Director of Orange County Exceptional Student Services and Debbie Gelinas from IEP Coaching and Advocacy joined us to discuss how we can get the most out of our children's IEP's. Dr. McIntire discussed the legal foundation and the process of special education from the parent and school district's perspective respectively. Debbie then provided resources, tips and ideas to help you stay organized and prepared for this year and the years to come. Not only did guests walk away with loads of information and resources, they received a ready made binder to start putting all those papers in. Copies of the PowerPoint presentation by Dr. McIntire are avabile for anyone who attend. Please email Christine.Bancalari@dsfflorida.org if you would like a copy. Binders will be available again at future DSFF IEP meetings.
Mom's Night Out! Thursday, September 23 @ BranderBerry
A group of fantastic women gathered at The Branderberry...A Meeting Place and enjoyed hot tea served on beautiful china, a few glasses of wine, tasty treats and great conversation ! There was nothing on the agenda this evening - the ambiance was perfect for an evening of relaxation and the indulgence of no obligations for a few hours! We'd love to see YOU next time!
Parent's Morning Out! Wednesday, September 15 @ the Briarpatch
An informal gathering of parents enjoying breakfast or just a cup of coffee before jumping into the day. This started out as a Back to School Breakfast, but it required a repeat performance by the women who attended! About 10 moms gathered this month to share experiences, references and ideas. Everyone is welcome - moms, dads, grandparents! The food is delicious and the conversation stimulating. Look for the next one in about a month!
Down Syndrome Association of Central Florida's General Membership Meeting: Friday, September 17 @ 7:00pm at Calvary Assembly in Winter Park
This month's meeting featured Dr. Akin Ajayi who spoke about sleep issues that can impact children and adults with Down syndrome.
Sibshop: Saturday, September 18 from 10am - 1pm at Calvary Assembly in Winter Park
The Sibling Support Project is a national effort dedicated to the life-long concerns of brothers and sisters of people who have special health, developmental, or mental health concerns. This FREE event is for brothers and sisters ages 6-16 of children with special needs. For more information on the Sibshop program and history, click here. This event was co-sponsored by DSACF, CARD and Nathaniel's Hope.
Down Syndrome Educational Conference in Atlanta, GA September 9-11
Down Syndrome Education USA in association with the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta (DSAA) presented a high quality evidence-based conference that provided information and practical advice to help parents and professionals provide the most effective education, therapy and support for individuals with Down syndrome. For more information about the conference read the conference brochure.
Orange County School Board Chair Election Forum, Orlando, FL Thursday, August 5 @ 7pm
Members of the community were able to meet the candidates for Orange County School Board Chair and hear their position on issues related to IEP's, special education and topics that matter to the local community . Scott Maxwell from the Orlando Sentinel hosted the forum that featured questions submitted by the community. The candidates said it was one of the only issue based forums they had attended and were thankful for the issues this group brought to their attention. At the conclusion of the forum, each of the candidates signed a pledge to keep the OCPS students in the ESE Program a priority once elected. To read the pledge they signed, go to the NEWS YOU CAN USE PAGE.
Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida
PO Box 533462
Orlando, FL 32853-3462
The Foundation is a 501(c)3 your donation is tax deductible EIN number: 27-2436041