Communicator 2012
More Alike_____________________________________________________
The NDSC Communicator   
________________________________________________ June, 2012
in this issue
Happy Father's Day
Harris Family on CBS News
Prenatal Pamphlet Review
Congratulations Graduates
Tales from the Road
Live Streaming at the Convention
And Another Thing or Two
June is for...Dads

Father's Day is this weekend, so we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate fathers everywhere! Dads often feel as if they are on the sidelines when it comes to parenting -- especially when they have a child with special needs. But we know fathers provide strength and stability, protection and guidance. NDSC is very grateful for the support we have from the fathers in our organization.


We'd like to give a shout out to a few special dads of kids with Down syndrome, who driven by their passion, have been instrumental in moving the mission of the NDSC forward for all of us. Dr. Siegfried Pueschel, has been part of the NDSC for as long as our staff can remember, and is a true pioneer in improving the health, education and lifespan of people with Down syndrome. Dr. Pueschel said his son Chris taught him about the "goodness and warm sense of humanity in our children that must be protected". In addition to being an integral part of the very first NDSC conventions, he has authored numerous healthcare books providing support and guidance for families and other doctors across the world in caring for children with Down syndrome.


Other fathers breaking down barriers include Gene Stallings, who as head football coach for the University of Alabama, had his son, John Mark, on the sidelines for almost every home game. This not only introduced countless players and fans to Down syndrome, but millions of TV viewers as well. His memoir, "Another Season", describes what it was like for him as a father raising a child with DS back in the 60's when institutionalization was still the norm.


George Will, columnist, journalist and author, articulates so well what many fathers feel. His news articles cause people to think twice about their negative assumptions of Down syndrome. In typical George Will fashion, his column published around his son Jon's 40th birthday said, "Judging by Jon, the world would be improved by more people with Down syndrome, who are quite nice, as humans go".


And another author, Chester Wayne Oden Jr., an African American father who was told to place his son in an institution. The family resisted the advice and raised their son as a valued member of their family. Oden recounts this journey in "Moose: A Very Special Person".


One more dad, Joe Meares, recognized the need for fathers to have a venue for talking about raising their child with Down syndrome. Just for fathers, the first D.A.D.S. group was started in 2002. Now there are 53 chapters in the US and four in other countries. To find a D.A.D.S. group near you or to start your own click here: 


Of course, there are too many exceptional fathers out there to mention here, but we honor and cherish each of you and sincerely wish you a Happy Father's Day!

Stay Tuned to CBS for a Heartwarming Story 

We're really excited about a special Father's Day story scheduled to air tonight (Friday, June 15) on thTim Harrise CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley. Two of the NDSC's favorite people, Tim Harris and his dad, Keith, from Albuquerque, NM, are scheduled to be featured both tonight and again on the CBS Sunday Morning program on June 17th.


If the name sounds familiar, it's because Tim's Place (the restaurant) has been featured in People Magazine. We can't wait to see them on television, and again at our convention this summer. The Harris family has long been supportive of the National Down Syndrome Congress -- we couldn't be happier for them and their successes!

Important Announcement from NDSC and GDSF




Since January, the National Down Syndrome Congress and Global Down Syndrome Foundation, in consultation with others, have been working on a "Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing Pamphlet."  With the development of the early maternal blood draw screening test, the need for this information is greater now than ever.


A draft of the pamphlet is available for review at For the next week, GDSF and NDSC are soliciting your input for the final document. Following the comment period, we will take your suggestions into consideration. Our goal is to have a final pamphlet ready to distribute by mid-July. Both print and online versions of the information will be free to physicians and patients. 


This is very exciting news for the Down syndrome community.  A 2003 Harvard research study revealed that a large majority of medical students and doctors feel unequipped to give a diagnosis of Down syndrome and know very little about the condition. Not surprisingly, many parents report that they have been given inaccurate information.


We appreciate your feedback and your continuing support of the NDSC and the work we do.

GDSF and NDSC logos

June is also for Grads

Take a look at these amazing graduates! If you follow us on Facebook, you've probably already seen these photos (and a few more). If you aren't our Facebook friend - see what you're missing? Be sure to like our Facebook page today!




You can share your own graduation photos there, or send them to us in an email. We love to see your pictures!


Looks like we need more photos from our female self advocates. C'mon girls - post those photos, too!


 Graduation 5GraduationGraduationGraduation

NDSC Tales from the Road


What's your Most Memorable Convention Moment? We Want to Hear your Stories. 


This summer, the NDSC celebrates 40 years of building community, strengthening families and creating memories during our Annual Convention. To recognize this historic anniversary, we want to know how the Convention has made an impact on the lives of you and your family. 


We eagerly invite attendees from across the last four decades to celebrate our legacy by sharing your favorite "tales from the road". Do you have an unforgettable story from your time at the Convention? Has the event strengthened your relationship with your family, or have you made lifelong friends with fellow attendees? What has been your favorite moment from a previous Convention? TELL US in as few or as many words as you'd like, what the NDSC Annual Convention has meant to you.

The Latest - Live Streaming at our Convention! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  

To commemorate our 40th Annual Convention, the National Down Syndrome Congress invites you to participate in the festivities - wherever you are!


For the first time in Convention history, we are live streaming 17 workshops and sessions from Washington, D.C., this July. Share the experience of "the world's largest family reunion" anywhere, and learn the latest developments and advancements from the Down syndrome community's leading voices.


The 17 sessions will be available for viewing through the National Down Syndrome Congress' Convention website - Registration will be available starting July 2nd, 2012. Live streaming begins with the opening session on the evening of Friday, July 20, and sessions will be broadcast continuously through the close of the Convention on Sunday, July 22. Unlimited access to these select workshops is available throughout the Convention weekend, and during the following calendar year, for $35 for members and $70 for non-members.


A range of expert speakers, including nationally renowned medical professionals, educators and researchers, will share vital insight for families and caregivers on topics including:

  • Adult and childhood education
  • Speech and language
  • Medical challenges
  • Advocacy
  • Employment

A full list of the workshops and speakers selected for live streaming will be available soon. Check our website and Facebook page often for the most up to date information.

And Another Thing or Two...

1. The latest issue of Down Syndrome News is available on our website. Be sure to sCC All Starhare with friends, teachers, and family members who don't receive their own copy in the mail.

2. Thanks for making us an All Star again this year by reading our e-newsletters every month. We're happy to know you want to get news from us! And we are very happy to provide it.

Contact Information
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