The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) is an organization whose mission is to promote the interests of people with Down syndrome and their families through advocacy, public awareness, and education. Every year, NDSC hosts a convention bringing together internationally known speakers to address concerns of parents and professionals in the Down syndrome world. Throughout the 3-day convention, there are scores of different workshops for attendees, camps for siblings, self-advocate opportunities, and various vendors to visit. It's impossible to attend all the workshops, so we're sharing some of the information DSACT members brought back to us below.
DSACT awards stipends to a select number of member families who would like to attend the annual NDSC Convention. Below are the presentations from the 2018 Convention that members who attended found most helpful.
Find tips and tricks for everything from registration to exploring the exhibits and vendors, straight from the 2018 attendees.
Over 35 years of research shows that inclusive education is beneficial to all students. The examples, strategies, and activities in this presentation will support you to create successful inclusive classrooms for students with DS and other complex support needs.
This workshop focuses on maximizing language skills during the elementary and middle
school years. Topics include working with multiple intelligences and learning strengths, receptive
language, expressive language, and classroom language skills. Dr. Kumin's model for
understanding and addressing language skills needed for success in school are included as well as a description of how to write effective IEPs for speech and language services. Home-school communication and home
practice programs are addressed.
This workshop focuses on helping children with DS from birth to kindergarten develop
communication skills. What are the differences between communication, language, and speech? What
prepares your child to speak? What can you do at home with your child before the first word? How does
your child progress from sounds to words to conversation? Examples of activities you can do at home to promote the development of communication are provided. Transitional systems to promote communication and language before your child begins to speak and activities to expand speech once your child begins to speak are addressed. Effective techniques for working with IFSP teams, IEP teams, and speech language pathologists in preschool and early elementary school, clinical, and private settings are provided.
The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law in 2014. Since its
enactment, over 30 states have launched ABLE programs allowing eligible individuals with disabilities
the opportunity to save funds in a tax-advantaged savings account without jeopardizing their eligibility
for public benefits, including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). ABLE accounts have
proven to be significant vehicles for individuals with disabilities to build a more sound economic/financial future. Additionally, there have been some significant changes to the law that will be reviewed. This workshop aims to educate all stakeholders as to what you need to know in order to understand the benefits of being an ABLE account owner and how some recent changes to the law might enhance those benefits for you.
Behavior problems impact approximately 30% of children with DS. Left untreated, these same children often exhibit behavior problems as adults, limiting work and independent living opportunities. In order to address behavior problems effectively, one must understand the brain-based reasons for
these challenges and direct treatment appropriately. This workshop presents the basic neuroscience of DS and how this informs effective behavior management, with practical strategies provided for use in the home and school settings.
Through a series of interactive exercises, explore the questions, needs, and concerns often raised by children who have a brother or sister with DS. This presentation draws upon Brian Skotko and Sue Levine’s publication in the American Journal of Medical Genetics and their book, Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on DS for Brothers and Sisters.