Families whose children have Down syndrome have been finding each other through word of mouth in Snohomish County, through a loosely affiliated group of parents, therapists and support workers. Now, thanks to a number of dedicated parents, the Down Syndrome Association of Snohomish County is reaching out to families around the region.
The group operated informally for several years, but recently applied for recognition from Washington State and the IRS as a nonprofit organization. Nonprofit status will allow the association to raise funds to support new and existing programs, including a Mom’s Night Out, monthly Saturday learning sessions, and a soon-to-be-implemented new parent outreach program.
"We are so happy to have found a local group in Snohomish County to connect with other families with children like our Maggie," says Martin Rollins, a deputy prosecuting attorney with the county.
The group is particularly excited to mark World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, 2014. The date has been recognized by the United Nations, and is symbolic of the third copy of the 21st chromosome that characterizes Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome, their families, friends, teachers, coworkers and supporters will be celebrating across the globe.
“We want everyone to know we’re out here,” says board president Amy Patterson. “Snohomish County families will celebrate World Down Syndrome Day by handing out awareness ribbons and informative flyers to their children’s doctors, teachers, therapists, and others to let them know about the day and our group.”
For more information about the Down Syndrome Association of Snohomish County, visit www.DSASC.org.