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We never know what road life is going to put us on. When our third child was born, doctors told us he had Down syndrome. We left the hospital with limited information and resources, and thus, began our journey on a road we knew little about.

We knew we had to help our son, so we quickly enrolled him in Early Intervention and Ryan began receiving services. Soon I had therapists rotating in and out of my house. Ryan was making great progress but it was, at times, overwhelming.

I began feeling isolated. While I have a great network of family and friends, I needed to connect with others who knew exactly what I was going through. At that time, I received an invitation from ACDS for a New Mother’s Tea. I gladly attended the event. When I arrived at ACDS, I was greeted by many of the staff including social workers. I met moms like me. I immediately felt a connection and decided to join a support group. I eagerly attended each weekly meeting. It was a place to share my feelings and my fears with other parents. We would discuss our children and share our experiences.

I then enrolled Ryan in his first Mommy and Me so he could be around other children. The following year I enrolled Ryan in the Younger Toddler program where he learned play skills and social skills. I continued to attend weekly support meetings and network with other parents.

Teachers and therapists helped me to understand my son’s abilities and guided me on how to help him. As my son grew older, he moved on to different programs ACDS had to offer.
Each program helped Ryan develop more skills and abilities to get him ready for kindergarten.

ACDS Personal Stories

The Older Toddler group helped him to separate from me. He learned routines and continued to develop social and play skills.

He started preschool when he was three. Ryan spent his last year at ACDS in their Integrated Class – this class includes children with disabilities and learning challenges along with typical children. The Integrated Class is outstanding and did a great job of preparing Ryan for kindergarten. He graduated from ACDS in June 2010.

In September 2010, he entered kindergarten at our local elementary school. Ryan had a strong foundation when he entered kindergarten. His teachers and therapists were amazed with his abilities. We as parents, of course, are so proud of him.

We are happy to have ACDS’ support and guidance and will always be thankful for ACDS and their commitment to children with disabilities.


If you have a personal story about ACDS that you would like to share, please contact

Laurie Schaefer
lschaefer@acds.org

With your support, we can continue to assist children and adults with Down syndrome, Autism and other developmental disabilities and their families.
Your contribution can make a difference to a child and family, just like those families in the stories above.

Donate to ACDS Today!

 

 

 
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