upcoming events:

To see all past and upcoming events, see the calendar on the right side of this page, below.

DSACT 2017-2018 Lunch & Learn Series

DSACT's Lunch & Learn series provides an opportunity for you to learn a little about educational "hot topics." An instructional/informational session is followed by discussion to address participants' questions and concerns.

Lunch & Learn workshops are held at Cafe Express; 3418 N. Lamar Blvd; Austin, TX 78705.

Order lunch and join us in the small meeting room. You can order ahead online or by calling Cafe Express at (512) 452-9888.

Please register via Facebook

Questions:? Please call Peggy Wolf at (737) 932-5551 or email at peggy.wolf@dsact.org

LUNCH & LEARN: BRain Gym

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017; 11:30AM-1:00PM

LOCATION: Cafe Express; 3418 N. Lamar Blvd; Austin, TX 78705

Join DSACT to learn how to help your child stay focused and enjoy all there is to love about listening to stories! We'll be reviewing proven, doable exercises that can greatly improve attention, without requiring a lot of your time.

Lunch & Learn: Reading Comprehension

Thursday, November 9th, 2017; 11:30AM-1:00PM

LOCATION: Cafe Express; 3418 N. Lamar Blvd; Austin, TX 78705

For your child to be an effective and ready learner, he/she must be able to understand what he/she is reading. If your child recognizes vocabulary words, but does not understand or remember what he/she reads, please join us as we discuss influences on comprehension and strategies for building this vital skill!

lunch & learn: IEPS: Goals and Objectives

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018; 11:30AM-1:00PM

LOCATION: Cafe Express; 3418 N. Lamar Blvd; Austin, TX 78705

Individual Education Plan, IEP, "that plan"... whatever you call it, this document can be daunting! Join DSACT to learn about setting outcomes that are measurable and observable, how to plan new outcomes, and how to determine criteria for assessing whether an outcome has been achieved.

lunch & Learn: Behavior

Thursday, February 15th, 2018; 11:30AM-1:00PM

LOCATION: Cafe Express; 3418 N. Lamar Blvd; Austin, TX 78705

Magicians can make things disappear. Become a magician at this workshop, during which we'll help you distinguish some of your child's undesirable behaviors! Learn your own role in your child's behavior and discover new approaches that will keep a smile on everyone's face!

lunch & Learn: Executive functioning

Thursday, April 26th, 2018; 11:30AM-1:00PM

LOCATION: Cafe Express; 3418 N. Lamar Blvd; Austin, TX 78705

What! My child’s brain is not fully developed, even in high school?! It's true! Join DSACT at this workshop to learn how you can your child develop executive functions like impulse control, organization, planning, and emotional control. Stop wondering if you can influence this, and come learn how to help your child grow and develop skills in a productive and positive way!

Lunch & learn: Apps and websites

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

LOCATION: Cafe Express; 3418 N. Lamar Blvd; Austin, TX 78705

Collaboration is key! As the school year winds down, join DSACT and fellow parents/guardians to share the best, most helpful apps and websites you have found and used this year to help your child maintain and grow academic skills. We'll also be sharing a list of recommended apps and websites!


DSACT Education event series

DSACT's Education Event Series offers parents and guardians, as well as educators, the opportunity to learn more about specific topics of interest in the special needs community, as they relate to the educational process both at home and school. You can download a copy of the full 2017-2018 DSACT Educational Event Series here.

Engaging your child

Saturday, October 7th, 2017; 9:00AM-10:30AM

LOCATION: AGE Building; 3710 Cedar Street; Austin, TX 78705

What is your child's learning profile of your child? Did you just think, "Wait! What is a learning profile?" Understanding your child's learning profile will help you identify your child's preferences, strengths, and challenges to ultimately help you engage your child in academic work and have more productive lessons. In this seminar, you will learn how your approach to teaching fits with your child's strengths and challenges, and what your child may need from you to increase focus on learning and decrease undesirable behaviors. Join DSACT to explore how we can create learning environments that encourage each child's participation and success.

RSVP: Peggy Wolf
peggy.wolf@dsact.org
(737) 932-5551

 

The whole child reading strategy, by natalie hale

Saturday, January 6th, 2018; 9:00AM-10:30AM

LOCATION: AGE Building; 3710 Cedar Street; Austin, TX 78705

“Go in through the heart and teach to the brain.” This the basis for the reading program developed by Natalie Hale, the mother of a child with Down syndrome and a reading educator and program developer. While teaching her own son to read at age five, she created books that addressed his needs: large type, generous white space, separate space for type and pictures, and interesting topics! 

In this seminar, DSACT Education Manager Peggy Wolf will outline Ms. Hale's reading approach, which emphasizes providing interesting books that are written at a level to guarantee your child's sense of mastery. This approach works at any age. You can read more about Ms. Hale's approach at http://specialreads.com/

RSVP: Peggy Wolf
peggy.wolf@dsact.org
(737) 932-5551

 

The individual education plan (IEP)

Saturday, February 10th, 2018; 9:00AM-10:30AM

LOCATION: AGE Building; 3710 Cedar Street; Austin, TX 78705

Do these three words and letters instill fear in your heart? Join DSACT as we unlock the mystery of the IEP! In this seminar, you will learn your and your child's rights and responsibilities, and those of the school. Find out what "least restrictive environment" and "present level of academic performance mean" and why they are important. We're going to dissect the IEP to help you know whether your child's is appropriate in addressing his/her academic needs.

RSVP: Peggy Wolf
peggy.wolf@dsact.org
(737) 932-5551 

 

Planning for secondary education years and beyond

Saturday, April 7th, 2018; 9:00AM-10:30AM

LOCATION: AGE Building; 3710 Cedar Street; Austin, TX 78705

Join DSACT in this seminar to learn about important learning and supports to have in place during middle and high school years, including considerations beyond the school district. If you have questions about choices and options after graduation; preparing for independent living; and instilling academic and behavioral skills important for life, this is your seminar! Take inventory of what your child can do now and learn to build on those skills to help your child reach his/her goals.

RSVP: Peggy Wolf
peggy.wolf@dsact.org
(737) 932-5551

 

FOstering Independence through visualizations and expectations

Saturday, May 5th, 2018; 9:00AM-10:30AM

LOCATION: AGE Building; 3710 Cedar Street; Austin, TX 78705

No more broken records! Banish the power struggles! Break the cycle of providing repeated verbal reminders to your child by implementing and sticking to routines. Think it can't be done? Join DSACT to learn how to achieve the art of the routine, with the goal of fostering your child's self-efficacy by eventually removing yourself as a parent/guardian from the routine. During this seminar, you'll learn about creating and using visual schedules, written routines, videos, modeling, and social stories so that you can fade into the background and allow your child to be more independent.

RSVP: Peggy Wolf
peggy.wolf@dsact.org
(737) 932-5551


EDUCATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Every year, DSACT recognizes a superior educator who has changed the lives of his/her students. The winner is announced in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, on March 21st. The 2017 Educator of the Year Award was presented to Pooja Mulgaonker.


RESOURCE CENTER

We are dedicated to providing information and materials that you can use to be empowered to teach your child or student with Down syndrome. As you plan your approach, remember to focus on their ABILITIES versus disabilities.

If you believe people with Down syndrome can learn, they WILL!

Have questions or concerns?  Contact Peggy Wolf, our Education Manager by email at peggy.wolf@dsact.org or by phone at 737-932-5551.

Topics of interest and Notable websites

Academics

Behavior

General School Topics

Special Education and the IEP Process

Transition to Adulthood

Notable Websites

Legal Services

Special Education Legal Consultations

DSACT is pleased to offer to DSACT members a free, one-time legal consultation on special education issues only. A consultation will last up to two hours. Our consultations generally focus on inclusion/placement in the least restrictive classroom environment and provision of appropriate supports and services, including modifying the curriculum. The consultation's purpose will be to help you be a better advocate for your student by giving you legal information about your special education issue. DSACT does not provide legal consultations about placement in private schools, preschool services or services after 12th grade. Our services do not include help with mediation, due process hearings or complaints to state or federal agencies. The DSACT attorney does not accompany you to meetings with school staff, including ARD meetings.

To request a special education legal consultation, complete and submit the "DSACT Special Education Legal Consultation Request Form." We will usually be able to notify you within 5-7 days after you have submitted the form if we can provide you with a legal consultation for your special education issue.

Disability Rights Texas

Disability Rights Texas is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Their mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society.

Attorneys and advocates fulfill the mission in the following ways:

  • Provide direct legal assistance to people with disabilities whose rights are threatened or violated
  • Protect the rights of individuals and groups of people with disabilities through the courts and justice system
  • Educate the public, media, lawmakers, and other concerned groups on issues and trends that effect the rights of people with disabilities
  • Inform people with disabilities and family members about their rights
  • Make referrals to programs and services

Educators

First and foremost, thank you for all your hard work and for caring about our children. It is appreciated. Click below to download helpful tips and information that you can use in the classroom and share as training information for staff working with students with Down syndrome:

School Presentations

Notable Websites

Educator Manual

Down Syndrome: Snapshot for Educators

Tips for the Classroom

My Teacher Matters to Me

DS101 for Educators

Communication Strategies for Educators

Peer Presentations (Parents present to class)

upcoming Events

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Important Facts

All parents should register with the following programs.  Waiting lists are 10 years long so your child is never too young to get on the list.

Community Living & Support Services (CLASS)
https://hhs.texas.gov/hhs-services

Home & Community Based Services Program (HCS)
https://hhs.texas.gov/hhs-services