You've heard about our Parent's First Call program for new and expectant parents, our programs for individuals with Down syndrome who are aging, and our resources for transition-aged individuals learning to advocate for themselves. Did you know that DSAW also has resources for grandparents?
Grandparents are important members of the family, and they too seek support when a grandchild is diagnosed with Down syndrome. After learning that their grandson James has Down syndrome, Jim and Robbie became very involved with DSAW.
Both Jim and Robbie have volunteered with DSAW for several years. Jim serves on the State Board and acts as the Medical Outreach Committee Chair. They also help at events and lead DSAW's Grandparents Support Group out of our state headquarters.
The group "provides opportunities for our grandparents to ask questions, learn from each other, and just have others to talk with and share emotions." The Grandparents Group often hosts guest speakers and self advocates who demonstrate what life might look like for the members' grandchildren. Jim notices that much like the parents, "Many of our new grandparents come in scared, uncertain, and worried about the future, but they are soon able to reverse roles and provide encouragement and support to the next round of new members."
Everyone's favorite part of each meeting is the beginning; they start by sharing pictures of their grandchildren. What grandparent doesn't enjoy showing off pictures of their little ones? Our Grandparents Group started with 4-5 members a short time ago, and now it has grown to a membership of 16!
Jim and Robbie truly feel that "the DSAW Grandparent Support Group is a valuable resource for all new and prospective grandparents of children with Down syndrome. Grandparents are a vital part of a family's support system, and this group helps to strengthen the bond between generations!"
If you're in the Milwaukee area, join us for Grandparents Group on the first Tuesday of the month at 4pm! Our next meeting is February 5 as we will break to celebrate the New Year. If you are in another area of the state and would like to start a Grandparents Group, contact Rachel to learn how easy it is to get one going!
When you support DSAW, you are allowing grandparents the opportunity to connect, learn, and find reassurance. You are providing a network for family members who may have difficulty finding one elsewhere.
Please consider DSAW in your year-end giving. By donating today, you can give others the community that Jim and Robbie have helped to create at DSAW's Grandparents Group.
Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin
PS - Will you make a year-end gift to support our vital work? We couldn't do it without you!