The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio offers several different support groups to provide support and information to families and children with Down syndrome. Our goal is to increase awareness and improve the quality of life for those living with Down syndrome. The groups include:
- New Parent Support Group: For new or expectant parents of babies with Down syndrome. This group helps ease the worries of new parents and provide the information they need. The group meets 6:30 to 8:30p.m., fourth Monday of every month at Worthington United Methodist Church, 600 High Street, Worthington, Ohio 43085. Childcare is available for siblings and children with Down syndrome who are mobile. All are welcome.
- 3 to 6-year-olds Group: This group focuses on issues such as toilet training, sibling relationships and public education. Information about the IEP process is essential as children transition into public education. Play groups are often developed as parents continue to develop their networks and begin to find resources for their children in the community for therapies as well as recreation. The group meets 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., fourth Monday of every month at Worthington United Methodist Church, 600 High Street, Worthington, Ohio 43085. Childcare is available for siblings and children with Down syndrome who are mobile. All are welcome.
- 7 to 10-year-olds Group and 11 to 14-year-olds Group: In these groups, parents continue to network and educate themselves on the IEP process and other special education issues. Topics include social appropriateness and building friendships. Activities are planned to afford more social opportunities to this age group as friendships among the children and the parents become stronger.
- 15 to 19-year-olds Group: This group's focus begins to shift to the support of the teens themselves. Activities begin to allow the teens the opportunity to be more independent. Many of the teens enjoy a group called PALS which allows them to discuss issues among their peers without parental involvement. This is an exciting yet scary time as both the teens and their parents begin to learn about transitioning and life after public education. Parents continue to learn a great deal from each other as a whole new set of issues and options present themselves.
- Adult/Self-Advocate Group: This exciting group allows individual preferences and interests to be expressed as the adults themselves are more involved in the planning of activities including our Annual Adult Conference held in late summer. Discussions turn to post-secondary education, employment, self-advocacy and independent living. At this point, parents are more bystanders and enjoy the friendships of other parents as they share in the joys and trials of their adult's life.
- NEW! Weekend Play GroupIntroducing a new weekend play group for families that have an infant, toddler or preschooler with Down syndrome. This group will meet the second Saturday of every month at 10:00 a.m. until noon, at various locations. The first meeting is scheduled for March 10 at Advent Evangelical Lutheran Church, 3660 Kenny Road, Upper Arlington. For questions and to register, please contact Andrea Bartosch at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 395-1095 or Susie Jones at email@example.com or (614)216-1379.
Additional Support Groups and Playgroups
Here are a list of area support groups and playgroups that you may find helpful:
NEW! Eastside Columbus Playgroroup
Meets the 3rd Saturday of each month
contact Nancy Ealy (614)868-8672 firstname.lastname@example.org
Delaware County Playgroup
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
1st Wednesday of every month
7991 Columbus Pike
Lewis Center, Ohio 43035
Contact: Bethany Mirka – 740-666-222 or e-mail email@example.com
Fairfield County Support & Playgroup
Contact: Michelle Dexter – 740-654-0972 or e-mail mdexter@fairfieldDD.com
Licking County Support Group, PALS
Starting June 9, 7 week program from 6 to 7pm
ES Weiant Center
116 N. 22nd St.
Contact: Laura Cohen 740-788-3706 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
or Wanda Krupp – 740-344-8921 or e-mail email@example.com
Pickaway and Ross County Support Group
First Tuesday of every month
Tyler Memorial UMC
260 Mills Street
Contact: Kim Kuehnle 740-412-8548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org