Congratulations on your new baby!
If your newborn has just received a Down syndrome diagnosis, you are probably experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. The first thing to understand is that you are not alone. In Wisconsin, there are more than 8,000 individuals with Down syndrome. DSAW represents the interests of these families, providing programs, services, resources, and support.
Parent's First Call Program
For new parents of babies with Down syndrome, an opportunity to speak with other parents who have experienced what you are experiencing can be invaluable. DSAW's Parents First Call Program is a statewide group of trained parent mentors available 24/7 to listen, share, answer questions, and provide valuable information. If you would like to speak with a First Call parent, please fill out our new/expectant parent form, call 1-866-327-DSAW (3729), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Parent Welcome Basket
DSAW offers all new parents of children with Down syndrome a welcome basket that includes books, gifts, a new parent package of information, and more! To request the welcome basket, fill out our new/expectant parent form, call 1-866-327-DSAW (3729), or email email@example.com.
Connect With Support Near You
Wherever you live, DSAW can support you! Click here to find Parent Support Groups, Regional Committees, and/or DSAW Chapters near you. No groups in your area? Start your own! Just email Rachel to get started.
Check out the digital version of the DSAW Parent's First Call Magazine. A hard-copy of this magazine is included with all Expectant Parent Packs and New Parent Welcome Baskets.
We highly recommend that you check out our national partners, including the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) and the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) for a wealth of information for new parents.
The National Down Syndrome Society's "A Promising Future Together" guide is written specifically for new and expectant parents.
Brighter Tomorrows provides families with balanced information about receiving a prenatal or postnatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome Parenting 101 by Natalie Hale
Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives, edited by Kathryn Lynard Soper
Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome by Cynthia Kidder and Brian Skotko
The Parent's Guide to Down Syndrome: Advice, Information, Inspiration, and Support for Raising Your Child from Diagnosis through Adulthood by Jennifer Jacob and Mardra Sikora
What I Want You To Know: Messages of Hope and Joy from your Baby by RA Hudson
We understand that not all birth families feel they are able to meet the needs of children with Down syndrome. The National Down Syndrome Adoption Network provides information to birth families who may be seeking alternatives to parenting as they prepare for the arrival of their child. The network currently has over 200 registered families, each waiting to adopt a baby with Down syndrome. You may contact them directly at (513) 213-9615.
Health Care Professionals
As a new parent of a child with Down syndrome, take comfort in knowing that Wisconsin is a great place to live. Here are just a few recommended health care resources in Wisconsin:
- Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Down Syndrome Clinic (Milwaukee)
- Waisman Center Down Syndrome Clinic (Madison)
- Gundersen Down Syndrome Clinic (La Crosse)