Celebrating where we've been....



Past Events

4th Annual Tour of Champions Bowl - a- Thon at Boardwalk Bowl - February 16, 2014
What a GREAT turn out and even!  We exceeded our goal by more than $60,000 to raise over $200,000 at a SOLD OUT event!  Thanks to all who were part of a team, participated in our first ever silent auction, volunteered or sponsored this year's event ---- we were bowled over by your commitment and generosity!   

It's A Wonderful Life - Winter Wonderland Celebration December 7, 2012  What a night!  Over 200 people joined us for our annual evening of dinner, dancing and family fun!  


 Down Syndrome Awareness Month Kick-Off Camping Jamboree @ Disney's Fort Wilderness October 5-7 2012  The Foundation welcomed in Down Syndrome Awareness Month once again in the great outdoors with three days and two nights 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 150 participants that enjoyed the great outdoors and festivities at Disney as we welcomed in Down Syndrome Awareness Month!!!  What a great way for our families to experience camping in a fun and friendly environment.  

Skate Out of Summer Family Fun Night and APD Registration Event / iCan Work Kick-off Event on Monday, August 6 @ Semoran Skate in Casselberry

iCan 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.  

14th Annual Family Cafe  June 15-17, 2012 @ Hilton Orlando 
This annual state-wide informational conference was FREE and LOADED with valuable information about organizations and services available to residents of Florida.  This is truly an excellent resource in the community and an event you will not want to miss!  It is an annual event so check back next spring to register!

Lose The Training Wheels Camp, June 11-15, 2012 Orange County  Convention Center  The Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida partnered with Lose The Training Wheels™  and the Orange County Convention Center to bring Central Florida much more than just a bike-riding program. The mission of this camp is to teach individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities to ride a conventional two wheel bicycle and become lifelong independent riders. With over 100 volunteers providing more than 400+ hours of service we were able to provide a wonderful week of riding to 40 participants - of which 29 completed the week as 'independent riders' - while the rest of the riders were VERY VERY close --- and ALL riders were able to ride on 2 wheels by the end of the week!  We plan to do this camp again in 2013 --- watch our newsletter and website for dates!



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
This event was provided to strengthen and protect marriages.  Participants learned how to FIREPROOF their marriage.  Featuring Kirk Cameron and music by Warren Barfield - it was an evening designed to encouage couples.  To find out more about the event, click here
.

Tournament of Champions 2011 Ping Pong Pro Am Tuesday, July 19 @ 5:30pm at Stefano's Italian Grill in Windermere, FL   (click here for details)  The Foundation raised nearly $15,000 at our first Ping Pong Pro-Am.  It was an exciting evening with professional athletes and celebrities playing against local community members.   The event was hosted by Tommy Davidson and covered by WESH and Channel 13 (local news channels) - it was really something to celebrate!  The Central Florida Table Tennis Association provided the tables and a professional demo of some exceptional table tennis skills!  Check back here soon for a video and photos from the event!

Jump Into Summer Fun & APD Info / Sign up Session  Wednesday, July 13 from 5-8pm at Puzzles Entertainment Complex in Orlando, FL    The Foundation hosted it's Summer Family Fun Event and this year we added a little purpose to the event by signing up over 40 family members for APD while at the event.  In the 2011 legislative session, a bill was passed that eliminated the requirement of an IQ test for individuals with DS to register for services with APD.  The Foundation invited APD to update families on what this means, what APD does and give everyone the opportunity to register their loved one.  For more information about APD visit their website.

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.org   

Nathaniel's Hope 9th Annual Make 'm Smileon Saturday,  June 4 @ Lake Eola in downtown Orlando from 7:30am -1pm
There is something for EVERYONE at this event!  This outdoor 'festival' showcases vendors, activities, entertainment and food all for Nathaniel's Hope VIPs.  If you have a child with Down syndrome, you can register them as a VIP KID for the day to be an honored guest.  If you are looking for a opportunity to meet other VIP KIDS you can sign up to be a BUDDY and help escort the VIP KIDS and their families.  There are also many other ways to volunteer.  To register go to http://www.nathanielshope.org/or call 407.857.8224

Keep Your Child Reading Throughout the Summer!  Thursday, June 9 @ 7pm at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park
Looking for a way to keep your child interested in reading this summer?  Come learn about best reading practices for children with Down syndrome and some suggestions on how to build reading skills over the summer.  This program will be geared for children who are reading or just starting to read (it will not be a 'teach your baby to read' program).   The program will focus on comprehension and other key tactics needed to advance reading skills while giving parents practical tips on how to keep your child interested and motivated to read this summer.   Child care will be provided for Foundation members if you RSVP by June 6 with name and ages of children to info@dsfflorida.org



Wright's Special Education Law and Advocacy Training with Pete Wright  June 4, 2011  8am - 4:30pm at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, FL
Special Education Law and Advocacy Training with Pete Wright  June 4, 2011  8am - 4:30pm at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, FLWrightslaw programs are designed to meet the needs of parents, educators, health care providers, advocates and attorneys who represent children with disabilities regarding special education. The program is not disability specific.  For program information and registration visit:  http://www.wrightslaw.com/speak/11.06.fl.htm

13th Annual Family Cafe  June 3-5, 2011 @ Disney's Coronado Springs Resort and Convention Center 
This annual state-wide informational conference is FREE and LOADED with valuable information about organizations and services available to residents of Florida.  This is truly an excellent resource in the community and an event you will not want to miss!  For more information about the conference and registration details visit their website:  www.familycafe.net

Florida Parent Educators Association (FPEA) Homeschool Convention, May 26-29 @ 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.  Even if you have never thought about homeschooling your child(ren) there is something to glean from this conference and the cost is only $85 if you register by May 1, 2011  for non FPEA members (for the whole weekend).  To learn more about FPEA, the convention, see the list of speakers and vendors go to:
http://www.fpea.com/convention/about/

IEP Training Workshop  Saturday, April 2 @ First Presbyterian Church of Orlando Downtown
The Foundation has partnered with IEP Coaching & Advocacy to present a series of educational / informational sessions related to your child's IEP and all things related.  As the second session in our series, this one day event was interactive and fun - it left parents with a better understanding of how they can best advocate for the most comprehensive educational plan for their child.  The Foundation provided the first 25 members two FREE hours of coaching with IEP Coaching & Advocacy - a $100 value. 

World Down Syndrome Day Rotary Golf Tournament  Saturday, March 26, 2011 @ Stoneybrook West Golf Club in Orlando, FL
The Foundation was very excited to celebrate 2011 World Down Syndrome Day by partnering with the Rotary Club of West Orlando to raise awareness of Trisomy 21. Rotary International is a professional philanthropic organization that serves international and local communities.  This exceptional event had over 100 golfers!    Orlando Dodge sponsored the hole in one  prize with a NEW CAR (unfortunately, no one won this year)!  Golf Digest ranked the Stoneybrook West course as one of the best places to play and it was named the second best golf course in Florida and number 27 in the nation by golflink.com. 



Nothin' But a Good Time at the Hard Rock Live Orlando on March 21, 2011
The LOOK BEYOND THE LABEL pledge was designed for and was given to nearly 2000 VIPs at the
Quality One Wireless Pre-Party for telecommunications professionals attending the International CTIA Wireless Conference that took place in Orlando.   Kim Kardashian, Bret Michaels and Tommy Davidson showed VIPs "Nothin' But A Good Time" while The Foundation Volunteers, Elyse Mundelein and participants in Bishop Grady Villas Job Placement Program shared information about the benefits of inclusion and the rewards employers receive when they hire individuals with Down syndrome.  Proceeds from a raffle and silent auction that evening benefited The Foundation.  A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to all the individuals who joined in the cause and are helping us let people around the world know that
when POTENTIAL is given OPPORTUNITY the outcome is 
SUCCESS!

3.21 Community Champion Awards
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day, the Foundation launched its first nomination process for the 3.21 Community Champion Award.  Each year on 3.21 The Foundation will recognize 21 outstanding community leaders that make a difference in the life of individuals with Down syndrome.  Recognize a teacher, a coach, a neighbor, a waitress, a grocery store attendant, a business owner, a family member....basically anyone who goes above and beyond what is expected to help your loved one or family achieve greater opportunities and successes.  We would like the world to know about them.   It takes a village to raise a child and we recognize there are very special 3.21 worthy individuals who do not do this for the recognition - they do it because they see the potential and beauty in someone they appreciate and respect.  Meet our 3.21 Community Champion for 2011 here

Psycho-Educational Evaluations - What are they and does my child really need one?  by Allicia Braccia on Thursday, March 10 @ 7pm at St Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park
The Foundation & IEP Coaching & Advocacy have partnered to bring you a series of events to keep the Down syndrome community informed about every aspect of the IEP and educational process for your loved one(s).  At our first session of the series, participants learned about the significance of a comprehensive psycho-educational evaluation and how it can compliment, enhance, and give meaningfulness to IEP development in all spheres of academic and social development.  This presentation was not just for those who attend public school and have an IEP.  Allicia Braccia is the founder and director of
The Providence Academy (a private school that focues on an integrated academic and theraputic model).  She has worked in the public school system as well as a private therapist and now the Executive Director of a growing private school / therapy center in Central Florida.  Her background, expertise and understanding of how children learn led her to design and develop an educational model that faciliates every aspect of learning by combining traditional therapies with education under one roof with a comprehensive team approach to the 'whole child'.    

Parent's Morning Out!  Wednesday, March 2 @ 9:30am at the 
Briarpatch in Winter Park
It's that time AGAIN!   Our first gathering for 2011!  We love the location, the food, the conversation and the company...a great time with 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.  Please RSVP on Meetup or to info@dsfflorida.org   Hope to see at the next one! 

NDSS affiliate webinar will be Special Needs Solutions for All Ages with George Barnes and Joan
Cleveland from Prudential February 22 @ 12pm EST
In 2009, the Special Needs Solutions for all Ages® program was launched, training Prudential producers on nuances of the Special Needs community and how they can assist the families to help ensure quality of life for their loved ones with special needs with appropriate insurance and financial products.  The program received external recognition as the recipient of the 2010 Disability Matters Marketplace award.  In addition, a national strategic alliance was recently created with the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and Prudential.  This webinar was designed to help you understand how to maintain your government benefits for your loved one with special needs


Talk Tools Training for Speech / Language & Occupational Therapists on Friday, February 18 from 7:30am - 4:30pm at St. Margaret Mary Church in Winter Park, FL
The Foundation sponsored a one day Talk Tools Oral Placement Therapy Training course for Speech / Language & Occupational Therapists.    This one day (0.6 ASHA or AOTA CEUs) course provided local therapists the initial training needed to implement and utilize the Talk Tools methodology with clients in the Central Florida area.  With Renee's busy schedule, we can usually only get her experience and talent in Orlando twice a year.   The Foundation decided since so many of our families have taken advantage of her knowledge and evlauations /program development, we wanted to help get more local therapists trained in this methodology so our kiddos can benefit from this therapy between her visits!  This unique partnership allowed therapists the best possible deal on Talk Tools  training - they can do it right here in Orlando instead of traveling out of state  For course cost and details click
here.  For a brochure with details about Renee Roy-Hill, the training outcomes, the agenda for the day and how to register, click here .  For more information about Talk Tools you can visit their website or call (720)524.3543.  The list of therapists who took the class can be found here


Talk Tools Clinic with Renee Roy- Hill,  Orlando, FL  February 14 - 18, 2011  Renee Hill from Talk Tools Oral Placement Therapy  conducted evaluations for new and returning clients in Orlando.  She met with parents and therapists to implement programs based on the Talk Tools approach to oral motor therapy.  Talk Tools therapy often produces dramatic improvements in speech clarity, facial features, tongue protusion and eating for individuals with Down syndrome.  Evaluations are $700 for new clients and $500 for re-evaluations.  Keep your eyes out for her next visit and Foundation scholarship opportunities coming later this year.  Thanks Renee!


Tour of Champions Valentine Bowl-a-Thon Sunday, February 13, 2011 Colonial Lanes in Orlando, FL  
We had 22 lanes and nearly 100 bowlers strike it up for a great cause!  Friends and family took their Champion bowling at Colonial Lanes for Valentine's Day and raised almost $50,000!  What an awesome first fundraising event for the Foundation!  There were lots of incredible prizes and plenty of opportunites to show style, flair and spirit.   We look forward to bringing you another one in 2012 - it's not your ORDINARY bowl-a-thon!   Below is a little snapshot of the fun we shared!



What Schools Should Tell You But Don't  on Saturday, January 29 from 9am - noon at First Baptist Church of Orlando in Faith Hall
Pam Lindemann, The IEP Advocate, shared her tried and true, proven techniques that she has used to help hundreds of parents with children in the public school system. A no-nonsense, jam packed three hours that will educate, encourage and empower families / parents to become a better advocate for their child.   Have you ever asked yourself, "How come the school doesn't tell me this stuff?"  Pam shared the "stuff" you need to know, the "stuff" the schools should tell you, but don't.  Participants learned:
  • How to get your child evaluated.
  • What to do if your child is struggling with reading or math.
  • How to prepare for a meeting with the school.
  • What you can ask for in a meeting.
  • The differences between an IEP and a 504 plan
  • Response to Intervention: What to ask for from the school to make sure your child is improving 

 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  info@dsfflorida.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.  

National Down Syndrome Congress Annual Convention in Orlando, FL July 16-18
The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) 2010 Annual Convention was held at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Walt Disney World, Florida.

Date Night!  (June 26)

It was a fun evening for parents and friends - everyone enjoyed a relaxed evening of dinner, conversation and laughs around wonderful Italian food at Buco di Pepo in Maitland. 

The Family Cafe Annual Conference in Orlando, FL (June 18-20)
The 12th Annual Family Cafe was held at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.  This is a statewide event designed to meet the informational and networking needs of individuals with special needs and their families.  For more information:  http://www.familycafe.net/

Neurodevelopmental Programs:  What is it and how can it benefit my child(ren)?  (June 17)
Have you ever wondered what a neurodevelopmental does? Have you ever heard of a neurodevelopmental program?   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.  One of the leading experts in this area, Kay Ness (from Atlanta, GA), present on this topic. Presentation materials from this program will be posted here soon!

Sibshop Training in Orlando, FL  (June 15-16)
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 event was a training program - stay tuned to participate in a Sibshop event - coming soon!

Orlando - Make 'm Smile 2010 Saturday (June 5)
Sponsored by Nathaniel's Hope this community festival celebrates kids with special needs (VIP kids) and their families.  Learn more about this fabulous event at:  http://www.nathanielshope.org/pages/58.asp

Florida Homeschool Convention (May 27-30)
The 2010 FPEA Convention was held be in Orlando at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort. Program highlights and mp3 recordings of key presentations coming soon!

Online Briefing: Can We Improve Children's Problem Solving Skills?   (May 20)
Problem solving and thinking skills are usually delayed relative to social competence among children with Down syndrome.  DownsEd International and Colorado State University are embarking on studies to evaluate parent delivered interventions designed to improve thinking and problem solving abilities among preschool children with Down syndrome.  For a on-demand version of this seminar go to:  https://downsed.webex.com/mw0306l/mywebex/default.do?siteurl=downsed&service=6


Parents' Night Out at Firkin & Kegler ( May 15)
What a great night out!  About 20 parents met at Firkin & Kegler in Orlando for dinner, drinks and adult conversation.  The weather was perfect for patio dining making the evening extra enjoyable - don't miss our next one!

Talk Tools Oral Motor Therapy Seminar  (May 13)
Renee Hill from Talk Tools Oral Placement Therapy spoke to parents and therapists about the Talk Tools approach to oral motor therapy.  Her presentation included several video presentations of children with Down syndrome before / after their Talk Tools therapy showing attendees dramatic improvements in speech clarity, facial features, tongue protusion and eating.  Presentation materials are available to participants.  Contact:  Christine.Bancalari@dsfflorida.org

Webinar  RTI and Special Education: Putting it all Together  (May 13)
Response to intervention and special education are typically separate programs in schools, and yet they are closely linked, both in methodology and practice.  If you were unable to attend the Webinar, you can watch the on-demand version FREE for 6 months HERE

Down Syndrome Foundation of Florida
PO Box 533462
Orlando, FL 32853-3462
info@dsfflorida.org
phone:  407.538.3537

The Foundation is a 501(c)3 your donation is tax deductible  EIN number:  27-2436041

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