TVNPA Members Making a Difference

Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area

When Cathleen Small gave birth to her son Sam in 2012, she didn’t know where to turn. Sam was born with Down syndrome, about which Cathleen knew nothing. An internet search connected her to the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), a TVNPA member organization, and changed her life.

Cathleen remembers her first DSCBA support meeting, which she attended when Sam was three weeks old, as “the moment I first felt that everything was going to be okay…that Down syndrome wasn’t going to rule our lives.”

Cathleen and Sam began attending monthly support group meetings, where Cathleen connected with fellow parents. Now age seven, Sam has completed two summers in DSCBA’s Communication Readiness Program and attends weekly Peer Development classes.

In 2015, Cathleen became DSCBA’s Medical Outreach Alliance Director, which has enabled her to support parents and medical practitioners with compassion, information, and resources. “It’s vitally important to introduce new parents to the services that DSCBA offers.”

Established in 1998, DSCBA’s mission is to empower, inspire and support people with Down syndrome, their families and the community that serves them, while fostering awareness and acceptance in all areas of life. To fulfill that mission, DSCBA offers numerous services including family connection meetings, peer development classes, music therapy, a summer communication readiness program and a strong alliance program with Bay Area schools and medical facilities. DSCBA serves more than 1,000 families.

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