New or Expectant Parent / Caregiver
You may have recently had a test and your doctor or geneticist has told you that the baby you are expecting has Down syndrome. You may have recently given birth to a baby that has Down syndrome. Whatever your circumstances, we have been there, and know the kinds of feelings and thoughts you are having, because we had them too.
Rest assured, you are not alone. There are other parents in your community, possibly right in your own neighborhood, who have a child with Down syndrome, and would be grateful to talk with you and share your thoughts and concerns. On our New Parent Support page are the names and numbers of parents who are happy to talk with you.
These pages contains resources that we have carefully selected to share with you because believe that the support that you receive in the earliest days are vitally important. Together with local partners, we work to provide families with reliable and supportive resources and a community that celebrates all children, and empowers parents to be strong informed advocates for their children and to always be parents first!
You may not be ready to talk with other people right now, and that is totally understandable. You may not even want to read or know anymore more right now about Down syndrome, so you can bookmark this page and come back to it later if you want. It’s entirely up to you.
You may contact any of the people listed below – we would be very happy to talk with you! An experienced parent of a child with Down syndrome can be a source of comfort and reassurance to you. If you would like a visit in your home, in our office or over a cup of coffee in a café, let us know, and we will be glad to meet with you! We sincerely care about you and your child – call one of us, or all of us!
Talk to a Mom
Angela Jarvis-Holland • (503) 239-8526 • email@example.com
Abby Braithwaite • (971) 998-8744 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Isis Sanchez (Espanol) • (503) 442-5817 • email@example.com
Talk to a Dad
Steven Holland • (971) 222-9581 • firstname.lastname@example.org
“Being able to hear the voice of a mother so upbeat, swelling with pride as she talked about both of her children – one with Down syndrome, one without – helped get my attitude in an upswing. Up to this point, I hadn’t been able to visualize a happy, functional life that included a special-needs child. Angela helped paint that picture for me for the very first time.”
Parent / Guardian / Family Member of School Age or Older Child
As our children grow from little babies to toddlers and students, we as caregivers find ourselves continually learning about next steps we can take to support them on their journey to adulthood. While some of the urgency of learning how to care for your little one begins to dissipate, it is still vital that you as a parent are informed and empowered about the best way to support your child follow his or her dreams for a full, rich, inclusive life.
With the expertise of “veteran parents” in our community and the input of many advisers in the fields of education, wellness, medicine and adult supports, NWDSA is a great resource whether you are navigating your first IEP or looking at the transition out of high school and into adulthood. The All Born (In) Movement is the home base for our cross-disability inclusion work, and we encourage you to visit abicommunity.org to learn more about the programs offered, such as our annual educational inclusion conference, kindergarten readiness programs, and college programs.
We also offer social and recreational activities for the families in our community. You can find a schedule of events, activities and drop-in hours on our Event Calendar.
NWDSA Resourcefulness Center
The Resourcefulness Center is a place where families can come meet other parents, explore our resource library, and connect with the community. There is always a warm cup of tea at the ready, and a place for children to play.
11611 NE Ainsworth Circle, Suite 321
Portland, OR 97220
Phone (503) 238-0522
Drop-In Hours are every Thursday, noon to 2 PM.
We offer parental support as well as IEP support every Thursday from September through June. If you need to stop by any other time,
just give us a call to make arrangements at (503) 238-0522.
Social Supports available at NWDSA / ABI
- Open Arms Play Groups for children age birth through five (abicommunity.org)
- Winter & Summer Socials are opportunities for families in the Down syndrome community to gather and celebrate
- Buddy Fest NW is our annual fundraiser and the biggest party of the year!
Educational Supports available at NWDSA / ABI
- Reciprocal Learning Community Workshops, helping parents of children with disabilities age birth through five become informed, empowered experts on their children’s development and wellness (abicommunity.org)
- Kindergarten Inclusion Cohort provides support to parents of children with disabilities to get them off to a great start in kindergarten (abicommunity.org)
- What Does a Down Syndrome Diagnosis Mean for Baby and Family?
- How will having a baby with Down syndrome affect my family? (PDF)
- A Message for New Parents from Steven Holland, Parent and President of NWDSA
- What is Down syndrome?
- Down Syndrome Facts
- Down Syndrome Myths & Truths
As parents, you are probably looking for all the information you can find about Down syndrome and how to care for your child. There is an almost infinite amount of information available on the internet and we want to offer a word of caution, as much of it is out of date, or just misinformation. Here are a few websites that we recommend. But remember, the thing your baby needs most is you!
- Down Syndrome Pregnancy (prenatal support)
- National Down Syndrome Society
- National Down Syndrome Congress
- Down Syndrome Adoption Network
- Disability Is Natural: Revolutionary Common Sense for Raising Successful Children With Disabilities by Kathie Snow
- The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook: A Guide to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles by Joan Guthrie Medlen
- Fine Motor Skills for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents And Professionals by Patricia C. Winders