On Sunday, June 24, DSAW families got together at Miller Park for a tailgate party and Brewers game! We had lots of food and tailgate games and enjoyed a gorgeous sunny day outside! Unfortunately, the Brewers lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, but that didn't stop us from having fun!! Come out to our next family event on Saturday, July 14! We're hosting a Down Home BBQ with GiGi's Milwaukee at our state office in West Allis. The BBQ will be complete with live music, professional family portraits, a splash zone, food, inflatables, yard games, crafts, and more! Sign up here.
On June 6, DSAW was awarded a $100,000 grant from Impact100 Greater Milwaukee! DSAW staff and families attended the awards celebration with 4 other incredible nonprofit organizations. We had a resource booth, and ED Dawn Nuoffer and self-advocate Andrew Gerbitz gave a compelling presentation! Members of Impact100 then voted, and the top 3 organizations were awarded $100,000 grants! We are so honored and thankful to them for their generosity. The funds will be used to purchase two 12-passenger vans to assist with transportation, in addition to a digital literacy curriculum to help teach technology skills to people with Down syndrome. Woohoo!
Toilet Training Seminar
Last month we also hosted a Toilet Training Seminar in partnership with the Down Syndrome Clinic at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Alice Belgrade, MS Ed., LCPC, BCBA, joined us to discuss specific strategies that are effective in toilet training kids with Down syndrome, health issues that complicate the process, and typical patterns.
DSAW Fun Day
On Thursday, June 21 we hosted our first DSAW Fun Day! Fun Days are a mini, one day respite day camp for people with Down syndrome ages 10-16. This month we took a trip to Helium Trampoline Park!! We got to jump on the trampolines, battle with inflatables, and party in the blacklight. Join us for one or all of our upcoming Fun Days on July 19, July 26, and August 9!
Tween Day Camp
During the week of June 11, we hosted our first EVER Tween Respite Day Camp! Individuals with Down syndrome ages 10-16 joined us for a jam-packed week of crafts, outdoor activities, field trips, and more. We cooked together, did yoga, celebrated National Kindness Day, made Father's Day gifts, and went to the zoo, Cool Waters, mini golfing, and bowling. What an incredible, exhausting week!! Kids with Down syndrome ages 4-9 can join us in July for our Kids Day Camp!
iCan Shine Bike Camp
We partnered with the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin to host an iCan Shine Bike Camp during the last week of June! The camp helps individuals with special needs learn to ride a two-wheeled bicycle independently. Such a fun week!
In June we continued to host our Circles class. The Circles program teaches students how relationships can be formed and maintained according to the social norms & social boundaries of our day and age. DSAW staff member Erin Miller teaches the class with her job coach. We're beginning a second session in July! If your child could benefit from learning about personal boundaries and relationships, register here!
Young Leaders Bootcamp
We spent this month at Bootcamp learning outdoor skills! We went hiking, learned how to set up a tent, did a nature scavenger hunt, and finished the month by building a campfire and making s'mores!
Bootcamp meets on Tuesday nights at 6pm. Join us in July to get to know yourself and others better, make vision boards, and craft personal resolutions!
Cooking with the Kiddos
At our first session of Cooking in June we made chicken Caesar wraps, and at our second session we made summer pasta salad and mini cheesecakes! Cooking meets on the first and third Wednesday of the month at our state office in West Allis. Sign up to cook with us on July 18! There will be no session on July 4th.
Motor Skills Playgroup
Our Motor Skills Playgroup meets every second and fourth Tuesday morning! 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. In June, we began music therapy during our regular playgroup session. Playgroup runs from 9:30-11:30am, and we'll have music therapy from 10-10:45. Music therapy will be available through August at no cost to your family! 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. In May we launched Young Leaders on the Northside! They meet on the first and second Friday nights. 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. Come out to Young Leaders Academy in July in West Allis or in Fox Point!
The second Friday night of the month is always our favorite since we have Tween Club! This month we celebrated the FIFA World Cup with soccer games and activities. Next month's Tween Club will be on Friday, July 13. Drop your 10+ year old off for a night of games, snacks, activities, and more. Sign up to join us!
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! Come party with us on Friday, July 13!
Family Movie Night
Every fourth Friday of the month, we invite families to a movie night at our office in West Allis! Parents are invited to stay with their kids, or drop them off for a night of respite. In May we watched Paddington, and we loved it so much that in June we watched Paddington 2! Watch Annie with us on July 27 :)
Dementia 101 Webinar
In June we also launched our new webinar series focusing on Alzheimer's and Down syndrome. The first installment, Dementia 101, discussed the basics of dementia and the link between Alzheimer's and Down syndrome. You can watch the recording here! Thanks to Bader Philanthropies for funding this series.
Summer Wellness Class
Our summer session of our Wellness Class also started in June. The class is designed for adults with Down syndrome ages 18-30 and focuses on exercise, healthy nutrition, cooking, and overall wellness. It's held at our office on Mondays and Thursdays.
Mini Golf Outing
DSAW-Sheboygan families got together at Harbor Pointe mini golf in Sheboygan on June 23. We had the first hour at the golf course to ourselves, and then we enjoyed donuts! We had so much fun at this event. Come out to Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac next month for our Summer Picnic!
Above & Beyond Children's Museum Field Trip
Again in June we went to the Children's Museum for Special Needs Night! The exhibits were adapted, sound was turned low, and the museum was closed to the general public. Meet us in July for this monthly playgroup!
All Abilities Dance Class
We are having so much FUN getting moving at our All Abilities Dance Class at In Motion Dance Studio! Dancers of all ages and experience came out to learn about proper stretching techniques and foundational dance moves. We still have 2 sessions left! Sign up today!
Family Speedway Event
On June 2nd DSAW-COTH-GLA families visited the La Crosse Speedway. It started out as a great evening!! The families who came were smiling and excited to enjoy a night of racing! Cooper and Katy were courageous enough to ride around the track in one of the race cars! Then, even before the races started, the rain came! And it sadly ended the night short. It certainly did not dampen the spirit I felt in the air and we will set a new date to recapture the feeling! Thank you to all who joined us!!
DSAW & WisCorps Nature for All Families The DSAW group and Autism Foundation are proud to partner with Nature For All Families. Nature For All Families is sponsored by WisCorps and takes place at Myrick Park in the WisCorps building. So far there have been two sessions. Each session focuses on a certain animal type (for example, bugs). You learn about that animal type through fun snacks, crafts, and outdoor activities. Families of all abilities are welcome! Amazing teachers\helpers plan fun activities and teach everybody interesting facts about the animal and plant life around Myrick Park. Even parents learn new things! One mom even said she felt like she learned more than her kids! The entirety of Nature For All Families is filled with hands on activities. About half of the time is spent outdoors spending time observing the world around us. Some of the time is also spent reading about nature in fun books. Snack time is also fun! Even if your child doesn't like to eat, they can still make an animal feature out of their food. When the two hours of fun time ends, you leave with a nature activity packet to continue learning at home! Nature For All Families is an awesome, hands on learning time that all families will enjoy!
Thanks to Elizabeth Matz for writing this article!
Loggers Game Family Night Out & Fundraiser
We went to a La Crosse Loggers game on June 24! Half of all of our tickets sales came back to our chapter, so not only was it an awesome Family Night Out, we also raised money for DSAW! Haley Hellerud event got to represent DSAW and throw out the first pitch at the game!
In June we had our monthly playgroup at Optimist Park in Allouez, and it was opening day for the Miracle League! We have playgroup every first Saturday of the month at 9am. Join us on July 7 at CP! No RSVP required.
Brat Fry Fundraiser
Thanks to Festival Foods and our incredible volunteers, DSAW-Green Bay was able to raise over $400 at a Brat Fry Fundraiser on June 10!! DSAW families helped cook and serve food. It was a busy day, but totally worth it!
Strider Bike Camp
During the week of June 11, we hosted a Strider Bike Camp to help pave the way for children to ride a bike independently in the future. We had some AMAZING volunteers who made this week possible. Thank you to the staff at LaForce and to our other volunteers! Check out the photos in the Green Bay Press Gazette!
Mom's Night Out
We also had our biggest Mom's Night Out ever at Luigi's Pizza Palace this month!! Moms, grandmas, and female caregivers enjoyed a casual night of yummy food, drinks, and time together! Join us for our next MNO on July 22!
Zoo and Cupcakes Event
In June, families in Central Wisconsin went to Marshfield to visit the Wildwood Zoo! We had a great day with the animals, and after the zoo, we headed over to Cupcakes on 8th for a snack! The bakery is owned by a mom and her son with Down syndrome. Such a fun event!
Parent's Coffee Date
We had a coffee date for all parents on June 20! Moms, dads, grandparents, and caregivers came together for coffee and casual conversation at Vino Latte in Weston.
North Central WI
Families in North Central Wisconsin came together in Antigo for a summer picnic on June 24! They enjoyed a fun afternoon with a wading pool/splash bad, playground, and food! Everyone brought something to share, and we had a beautiful day together.
On Father's Day, DSAW-Chippewa Valley families and their dads, brothers, and grandpas went to Westgate for a fun afternoon of archery! They also had lemonade and cookies!
Dad's Night Out
Dads, grandpas, and male caregivers in the Madison area got together at Buffalo Wild Wings for food and to watch the Brewers game! Join us for an upcoming event in the MADSS coverage area! We have a picnic on Sunday, July 15 at Badger Prairie County Park!