Each year Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry offers social events allowing our entire membership to get together and have a great time. These events include our annual New Year's Party and Summer BBQ party. We also try to have smaller social meet ups based upon the ages of our children like under 3 baby groups meeting at a members home or our 7 and under crew meeting at Little Gym for some "Serious Fun". Our teens got together for their own (parent-free) Christmas party and had a blast. There are also mom meet ups, dad meet ups, and sibling groups. In addition, our private social media page helps connect parents online when physical distance may prevent regular meetings in person. Whatever the occasion or location, this DSAL family has fun, shares hugs, and grows as a support group for each other.
DSAL has monthly parent meetings where we provide dinner, childcare, and a guest speaker to help educate our families on topics that relate to us such as setting up trusts, create ways to keep up with therapies over the summer, school advocacy, and more. For more in-depth education, we hold workshops for parents and youth like our puberty and IEP preparation workshops.
We hold a Buddy Camp each year for our 3-8 year olds and are working on swim and bike camps becoming more regular offerings.
If you have an idea for a social or educational event, let us know. We are always looking for new ideas, and we want to spend time on things that matter to our membership.
Our medical outreach committee works on getting the word out about DSAL and the positive future ahead for our members with DS in order to educate doctors and reach new parents. Hopefully we can add to the number of positive diagnosis stories in our area.
We reach out to new and expecting parents and welcome them into this family as early as we can. Navigating the world of DS and the new challenges it brings can be daunting, and no one needs to go it alone. Everything is easier with a friend who has been where you are and can hold your hand through uncharted waters. Trust me when I say that no member is met with more fanfare than our fresh new babies!
Our babies grow up and do great things too! We have offered more scholarships than ever to our members entering college. We have adult members working all around our community as great ambassadors for all that our members can contribute.
Our annual Buddy Walk each October is our biggest day of the year. Not only does it raise the funds to do all of the things listed above but it celebrates our members with DS, their families, and the community which supports and loves them, making all great things possible. If you have never been, make it this year. Bring your friends or make plenty of new ones there. Enjoy live music, food, jump castles, face painting, crafts, and more. The one mile walk may be the most joyful parade you have ever seen.