A Look Back on December 2016

The month of December was full of holiday cheer and new programs and events throughout the state. Check out what we've been up to!

Fox Cities

Fox Cities Holiday Party
On December 3, Santa welcomed forty-eight (48) families of children with special needs from the Fox Cities for the Santa Celebration hosted by WisconSibs, Inc and DSAW Fox Cities. A record attendance of more than 120 children with disabilities and their siblings, 78 adults, and 60 volunteers played games, decorated cookies, made new friends, and got some lap-time with Santa. 

This was the 13th year that WisconSibs has offered the event.  Spirited volunteers from high schools, businesses and the Humane Society, financial support from the Appleton Rotary and DSAW Fox Cities, and in-kind gifts from Fleet Farm, make it possible to host the event and provide a gift from Santa for each child attending. 

Chippewa Valley

Chippewa Valley Holiday Party
We had a wonderful time at the annual holiday party, including visits & presents with Santa, horse-drawn carriage rides in the snow, food, music, and lots of fun. Thanks for everyone who helped make this another memorable event!

La Crosse

La Crosse Holiday Party
Families attended the La Crosse Holiday Party (despite the bad weather!) to enjoy food, crafts, and holiday music. Santa also visited and passed out presents (& hugs) to the children. Thanks to everyone who attended and helped spread holiday cheer!

Greater Milwaukee Chapter & DSAW State Headquarters

Milwaukee Holiday Party
More than 250 people attended the annual Greater Milwaukee Holiday Party on Saturday, December 3rd. We held the party in the Nathan Hale High School Cafeteria, which was a perfect location! Santa made an appearance to hand out presents to each child, and we enjoyed a taco/nacho bar, hot chocolate, cookies, and plenty of crafts and games. We also spent plenty of time dancing with our favorite DJ. Check out photos from the event here.

Milwaukee Self-Advocate Shopping Event
Self-Advocates with special needs and volunteers from Caroll University and New Berlin West High School joined us for an afternoon of Holiday Present Shopping. Everyone had a great time buying presents for loved ones. And of course, we also grabbed coffee and gelato! Thanks for everyone who made this a fun event.

Motor Skill Playgroup
Enroll today for our twice-monthly motor skills playgroup, taught by a certified Occupational Therapist! This program is for kids 6 and under. While your kiddo is having fun, you can join us for coffee club!


Grandparents Support Group
A note from our group facilitators: "Hello. We’re Jim and Robbie Fackelman and we will be facilitating the Grandparent’s Support Group.  We are the proud grandparents of four year old, James. James lives in Conifer, Colorado with his mom and dad and eighteen month old brother, Robert. James has been a gift to our whole family.  He has taught all of us what pure love, kindness, and acceptance means.  James has made our lives better because of his ability to make us stop and enjoy every single moment, every kiss, every hug, and every accomplishment.

We are very anxious to hear your stories and to share your photos. The Grandparent’s support group is a place where we can share resources, tips, books, articles, new advances, and ways to be involved in DSAW and the Down Syndrome community.  We will be meeting on the first Tuesday of each month from 4:00 to 5:00 at the DSAW office, but because of the holiday in January, our meeting will be on January 10.  Every grandparent is welcome.  We want to get to know you and your grandchildren, make new friendships, and support each other in our journeys." Join us in January!!



Young Leaders Bootcamp
Self-Advocates joined us for Young Leaders Bootcamp this month on Communication Management. Consider signing up for our January Bootcamp!

Cooking with the Kiddos
We had a great time at our first month of Cooking with the Kiddos. We made a full meal together and then got to enjoy the hard work! This class is a great time of family bonding, plus a free meal... what could be better? Join us next month.



Young Leaders Academy
Self-Advocates joined us for Young Leaders Academy twice in December. We are still working our way through the Job Skills Training curriculum, but we will start a new lesson soon. This is the perfect time to jump into our course -- consider joining us in January!

Tween Club
Tweens had a great time at December's Tween Club. We played foursquare, gym games, and had lots of fun playing the Wii! We also had an awesome nacho bar. Many of our parents got to attend Parent's Night Out while their children had a night of fun. Join us in January

Parent's Night Out
Parents hung out at the Brass Tap during December's Parent's Night Out. We had a blast! Join us in January at Club Paragon in Greenfield.

Family Zumba
We are excited to dive into Zumba in the coming months! We have a volunteer Zumba instructor who is ready to instruct our families in this fun and family-friendly activity. Join us in January!

Spanish-Speaking Support Group
Multiple families joined us for this month's Spanish-Speaking Support Group! We had a great time. Join us in January!

Family Movie Night
We got snowed out for our family movie night this month, but we're excited for January's movie - Frozen! 

Milwaukee Wave Game
About 40 people joined us for the Milwaukee Wave Game on Saturday, December 17th. Thanks to our AMAZING partners Profession Construction Inc, tickets were free, and families received food and beverages too! In addition, some of our families participated in special activities before the game. Thanks so much, PCI!