DSAW Program Models

The Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin pilots replicable program models at our State Headquarters in West Allis, and then duplicates successful programs to locations around Wisconsin. Scroll down to learn more about our innovative models.

Transition & Activities of Daily Living


DSAW has piloted numerous transition and activities of daily living programs for young adults with Down syndrome, including Young Leaders Academy, Young Leaders Bootcamp, Cooking with the Kiddos, and more. Our award-winning Young Leaders Academy is an employment-readiness and respite course that focuses on important topics such as work ethic, attitude, communication skills, time management, problem-solving, acting as a team player, self confidence, ability to accept and learn from criticism, flexibility/adaptability and working well under pressure. 


OT, PT, Speech, Behavior, and Music Therapy


DSAW hosts therapy groups across Wisconsin to help individuals with Down syndrome build the fundamental skills needed to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. Visit a location near you to see local offerings.



Nutrition and Wellness


DSAW has piloted a Young Adult Nutrition and Wellness Class that focuses on teaching individuals with Down syndrome and other special needs about the importance of healthy living and wellness, including exercise, nutrition, and independent cooking. Goals of the course include creating a firm awareness for the importance of integrating exercise into daily life, building a foundation of healthy nutrition, learning to cook healthy food, learning to eat food with appropriate social manners, and understanding the consequences of poor nutrition and lack of exercise. 





DSAW runs the well-known Circles of Intimacy program at locations across Wisconsin. This program promotes personal and communal safety by teaching individuals with special needs about the "circles of intimacy" of people within their lives, and the appropriate behavior within each circle. DSAW also incorporates safety into all of our programs, including activities of daily living, summer camps, and more.




DSAW utilizes Terri Couwenhoven's materials on dating for individuals with special needs to teach self-advocates and their parents about this important transition.



Family Resource Day/Nights


DSAW hosts one-time educational events to take a deep-dive on specific topics, such as behavior, therapies, or local resources.






DSAW hosts events geared just for siblings of individuals with Down syndrome. These events and seminars are designed to build fraternity amongst siblings, which giving them a safe place to ask questions and share their feelings.




Stay tuned for new DSAW Program Models!