Looking Back on April 2019



NDSS Adult Summit

Dawn Nuoffer, Executive Director, and Rachel Reit, Marketing and Development Manager, presented on a panel at the National Down Syndrome Society Adult Summit this month! They had a great time with our friends of Down Syndrome Network of Arizona talking about adult and aging programs. One of our favorite parts of the summit was a presentation by Karen Gaffney, an incredibly accomplished self-advocate, who talked all about changing the playing field for adults with Down syndrome!


We kicked off our first Club DSAW of 2019 this month with a karaoke event! We rented out a private room at Punch Bowl Social and enjoyed an afternoon filled with songs, snacks, and laughs! Self advocates ages 18+ had so much fun belting out their favorite tunes with good friends! Stay tuned for next month’s Club DSAW activity!


Family Bowling Event Families had a blast bowling at Castle Lanes in Racine! This was a great time for all ages and abilities. It’s always fun to socialize with fellow DSAW families while hitting the lanes. We even enjoyed a yummy pizza lunch!

Digitability Class Our Digitability class had another successful month in April! This winter, we launched this award-winning employment-readiness course used to prepare students with special needs for today’s tech-driven workplaces. Our summer semester starts up on June 10th, and will be held Mondays and Wednesdays at TWO different locations! Learn more about the West Allis location here. Interested in the Eastside location? Click here!

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Relationships Class
This month, we wrapped up our course on relationships for individuals with special needs. Throughout the course, we learned about personal boundaries, dating, self-defense, stranger danger, and safety.

Nutrition & Wellness Class
This month we continued our two sessions of the Nutrition and Wellness Class. The class meets twice a week throughout the spring and participants have been learning about personal health and well-being, exercise, and healthy cooking. This month students made a healthier (and super yummy) version of chocolate chip cookies!

Life Skills Bootcamp
In April, we participated in a number of service projects! We had so much fun giving back to others while learning new skills. Stay tuned for May’s topic. Register Here!

Coffee Club Coffee Club is hosted at our state office on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month. This acts as a great opportunity for DSAW parents and their loved ones to meet other families while enjoying coffee.

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Motor Skills Playgroup                                   
Our Motor Skills Playgroup meets every second and fourth Tuesday morning from 9:30 to 11:30! This group is a fun chance for children to learn occupational therapy skills in a free environment, while parents enjoy coffee and each other's company. We also offer free music therapy in conjunction with playgroup! Sign up to join us!

Young Leaders Academy
Our Young Leaders Academy at our West Allis office meets every second and fourth Thursday of the month. We also have a Young Leaders Class at our Northside location in Mequon! This location meets the first and third Wednesday of the month! Classes start off with an energetic game and end with an hour of employment-readiness curriculum. Self-Advocates are invited to join our class anytime.

Tween Club
The second Friday night of the month, DSAW transforms into a hoppin' place for tweens to hang out! At this month’s Tween Club we had peers from the Delafield Family Tae Kwon Do Champions come to teach us some tae kwon do! Stay tuned for next month’s activity! Sign up for Tween Club!

Parent's Night Out
Each month, DSAW parents, grandparents, and caregivers get together for a night of casual conversation and free appetizers. We meet every second Friday of the month at Cleveland Pub, in conjunction with Tween Club! Come join us for one of our favorite nights of the month on Friday, May 10th!

DADs Meeting Fathers and male caregivers are welcome to join us the first Thursday of every month to come together and support each other. We discuss upcoming events, listen to speakers, recruit volunteers, and talk about our kids while enjoying food and drinks at the New Berlin Ale House.

Central Wisconsin

FUNdamentals of Special Education
In April, fellow parents joined us for a discussion on Special Education! We talked about IEP teams and tips for parent advocacy! DSAW member and special education teacher, Garrett Lancelle, conducted a brief presentation, followed by a group discussion. Thank you to the parents who joined us and contributed to this very important discussion!

Wellness Club
This month we launched Wellness Club thanks to the support of the Wausau-Marathon County Fund of the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin! This club provided a great learning opportunity for both teens and young adults to learn more about nutrition and fitness. Thank you to our instructor, Dana, who taught our group about nutrition plans and fitness activities. Sign up for the next Wellness Club here!

Dad’s Night Out
Dads, uncles, grandpas, and male caregivers gathered at Townies Grill this month for a casual social. We always enjoy this night of food and conversation with other men who have a loved one with Down syndrome!

La Crosse

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All Abilities Day
This month we partnered with the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation for All Abilities Day! This is always a great opportunity at the La Crosse Wellness Center for families to chat with local therapy providers and disability resources.

Inclusion Night
We had a blast at Inclusion Night at the Children’s Museum of La Crosse! DSAW-COTH-GLA co-hosted this fun night in partnership with the La Crosse Area Autism Foundation! Families got to enjoy the museum at their own pace, without the extra stimulation of busy open hours. The night included sensory-friendly exhibits, snacks, and fun with other families!

Green Bay


DSAW-Green Bay meets the first Saturday morning of every month for playgroup. This winter, we escaped the chilly outdoors by bouncing around at Get Air Trampoline Park! They offered our families a dedicated time just for jumpers with special needs. Now that it is warming up, we will hold playgroup at Voyageur Park in De Pere next month!

Blizzard Game Resource Table
This month we hosted a resource table before the Blizzard game against the Nebraska Danger! DSAW-Green Bay members sold tickets for a special DSAW raffle basket. The lucky winner was announced during the game. Thanks to everyone who visited our table!

Dad’s Night Out


Dads had an extra fun Dad’s Night Out this month! DSAW men gathered for an exciting game of tactical laser tag at the Battle House! Players were given a mission that required team strategy and tactics to accomplish!

Parent’s Night Out
This month parents, grandparents, caregivers, and adult siblings gathered at Mackinaw’s in Green Bay for a Parent's Night Out! We always enjoy this time catching up with fellow DSAW adults over good food and drinks.

Self-Advocate Event at Get Air
Self-advocates enjoyed a fun day at Get Air Trampoline Park! Jumpers of all abilities bounced around at the trampoline park while socializing with each other. Thank you to the self-advocates who joined us for this entertainment filled day!


Mom’s Take 5
MADSS has a Mom’s Night Out on the 5th of every month! This month, marvelous MADSS moms gathered at Tanner’s Bar & Grill in Middleton! We always love this time to catch up with moms over appetizers and soft drinks.

Dynamic Duals: DS-ASD MADSS & GiGi’s Playhouse sponsor Dynamic Duals every month! It is a group for families with a child with DS-ASD or other significant behavioral challenges. It’s a time to connect and have fun, share successes and resources, brainstorm ideas and strategies for challenges.


Parent’s Night Out
This month’s Parent's Night Out was held at Breakwater in Monona! Parents, grandparents, adult siblings, and caregivers gathered for a fun evening of conversation and good eats.

Family Field Trip
We had so much fun on our Family Field Trip to the Madison Children's Museum! Families discovered, played, and learned while hanging out with other MADSS families. This day provided entertainment for all ages.

North Central

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Bowling Event
DSAW-North Central Families gathered for a fun day of bowling at North Star Lanes in Antigo! Families enjoyed this time to catch up up with each other while hitting the lanes. Thank you to everyone who came out to join us for this wonderful event!

Fox Cities

Puberty Workshops
DSAW-Fox Cities offered Puberty Workshops this month. Terri Couwenhoven, MS, CSE, a well-known sex educator and author, presented these workshops designed especially for pre-adolescents. Parent/daughter workshops and parent/son workshops were presented separately and were full of useful information.

Jump with a Buddy
DSAW-Fox Cities kiddos as well as our Teen FrienDS Club enjoyed a private party at Vertical Velocity Trampoline Park! We also had yummy pizza and soda! Thank you to everyone who joined us for this fun day!



Dance Class
This month, we kicked off our DSAW Dance Class with In Motion Dance Studio in Plymouth! Kiddos enjoyed moving, sweating, and learning all while having fun! Throughout the next two months, students will learn how to stretch and create a foundation of dance techniques. All ages and abilities are welcome to participate in this class - join at anytime! Register here.