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DSG: Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan Join The Cause


The DSG offers a variety of services to help families and schools. One of the primary ways we help is to provide educational seminars with local and national speakers on best practices in special education.  We have featured topics such as "Teaching Reading to Children With Down syndrome", "Oral Motor Therapy for Children with Down syndrome", "Inclusion", "Positive Behavior Supports" and more.  Each year the DSG hosts educational events to draw families and educational professionals to learn from experts in the field of education.

When requested, we also offer paraprofessional and teacher trainings tailored to each school's need.  Trainings can be as short as 30 minutes or as long as 3 hours based on what the school is asking the DSG to cover. C ommon topics for presentations include: behavioral supports, curriculum adaptations, environmental adaptations, how to create a circle of friends, suggestions for IEP goals, and ways to teach children with Down syndrome effectively.

We also offer interactive peer presentations.  A book called "Taking Down Syndrome to School" will be shared with the class or group of students. This book identifies the many similarities between typical students and those with Down syndrome. It also identifies a few of the small differences that may occur and why they really aren't all that important. Students are encouraged to ask questions and to participate in hands on activities that will help them understand what it may be like to have Down syndrome. The book is gifted to the school library from the DSG so students can check it out at a later date if they would like to do so.  A copy of Myths and Truths about Down syndrome is also provided and can go home in each child's back pack to educate their parents.

The DSG provides awareness materials such as posters, pamphlets, bookmarks, and stickers upon request. It has been said that "a picture is worth a thousand words". We will continue to disseminate positive materials with positive affirmations to create broader awareness of Down syndrome.
The DSG collaborates with the National Down Syndrome Congress to celebrate National Inclusive Schools Week in December of each year. Packets are sent to our local school districts with information on Inclusion.  These posters and materials are creative ways to support an inclusive educational setting.

Down Syndrome Specialist Program

The Down Syndrome Guild's (DSG) launched an innovative program in August 2009, called "Parents and Schools in Partnership."

The primary focus of this program is to build collaborative relationships between the DSG, parents and school districts to ensure positive outcomes for students with Down syndrome. The DSG asked various Special Education Directors to identify a school district employee to be the DSG Down Syndrome Specialist for one year.

Click here for more information.

Education Resource Team

The Educational Resource Team provides support to parents in need of help with Education-related issues in three ways:

  • Educating parents concerning the IEP process, legal requirements, developing appropriate goals for this child/student, and the importance of establishing firm expectations/open communications with their educational team/district
  • Helping parents connect with resources that can be used in supporting their child's education
  • Helping parents connect with other parents so that they might support each other by helping with advocacy or sharing ideas concerning resources.

Committee membership is currently dominated by people from the Clarkston and Walled Lake School Districts. The committee wishes to broaden representation among the membership so that the needs of all families served by DSG can be addressed. If you are interested in this engaging committee, please contact Paulette Duggins at info@dsgsemi.org

Teacher Packet

An information packet for Grades K-5 is available for parents of children with Down syndrome who will be attending school or for educators who will be instructing a child with Down syndrome. The material is intended to offer an assortment of information to assist the classroom teacher in getting to know the child with Down syndrome.

Get a head start on learning about the specific classroom needs of students with Down syndrome!  Contact Paulette Duggins at 248-556-5341 or by email at info@dsgsemi.org