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Nathaniel's Hope Make 'm Smile Event
Saturday, June 4, 2022
7:30 AM – 1 PM
Lake Eola, Downtown Orlando
MAKE ‘m SMILE is the Biggest Party that celebrates kids with all types of unique abilities - they are the VIPs of the day! It is a day filled with family entertainment, games, characters, petting zoos, food, helpful resources from the community, a friendship stroll, and tons of SMILES!

All FOUNDATION families are invited and encouraged to attend this FREE event at Lake Eola on Saturday, June 4, from 8 AM – 1 PM. To register please visit https://nathanielshope.ee4.us/vip-registration.

Join us and check out our FOUNDATION booth!
Lucky Littles and Young Explorers - Lucky Littles June meet-up
 at Dr. P Phillips Splash Pad
When: Saturday, June 11
Time: 3 pm to 5 pm
Location: Dr. P. Phillips Community Park 8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd, Orlando, FL 32836
Join The FOUNDATION for a splish-splash fun Play Date at the Splash Pad at Dr. P. Phillips Community Park. Admission to the splash pad will be covered by The FOUNDATION.

Popsicles will be provided as well! Yum! Bring a ball and a picnic lunch and we can play on the outdoor fields after the splash pad!

Be sure to register for this fun - outdoor - meet-up!

And a BIG THANK YOU to Suzanne Sherrill for helping us organize and plan this fun family event! Thank you Suzanne!
iCan Work! employee application is OPEN!
We are currently accepting applications for our
iCan! Work program!
iCan! Work is designed to help transition individuals with Down syndrome into the workplace. The program will include on-the-job training (OJT) with our community partners: Levy Restaurants (Magic games), Quality One Wireless, and Orlando Health. Additionally, there is a weekly Lunch & Learn program to go over the soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace.
To participate in the iCan! Work Program, an individual must:

  • have Down syndrome
  • be registered with Vocational Rehabilitation (we can help with this!)
  • have reliable transportation to their assigned worksite
  • have completed high school and transition programs

The goal for every participant is long-term, meaningful employment at a location that is convenient for the employee and the family. Participants are paid when they work, and it is free for members to participate in the program. This program requires an interview and acceptance into the program.

There will be evening and weekend shifts with the Orlando Magic games, but most shifts are between 8am and 6pm.

If you have questions about the program, please contact caroline.Sanchez@dsfflorida.org
Self Advocacy Camp
When: June 13 - 17
Time: 9 am to 3 pm
Location: Delaney Baptist Church, 1919 Delaney St. Orlando, FL 32806

Join us for a week-long program where you can learn how to better communicate your strengths, abilities, interests, & needs when interviewing with potential employers or applying to trade schools, colleges, or universities.

Participants will learn how to represent themselves and make decisions that affect their lives. Throughout the training, individuals will learn skills that increase confidence and self-esteem while helping them develop a sense of independence and self-empowerment.

In addition to this being a great opportunity to work on self-advocacy skills, this will be a week of fun and an opportunity to develop friendships.
***Participants need to be registered with
 Vocational Rehabilitation (VR)***
If you have any questions please contact Caroline Sanchez at caroline.sanchez@dsfflorida.org
Welcome to the iCan! Work team!
A mom, a teacher, and a specialist - let's all welcome our new Education and Employment Specialist, Lauren Frosch!
"Hi, my name is Lauren Frosch. I have been in the education field for over 2 decades. I have worked with a variety of ages from preschool to upper elementary children. Thirteen years ago, our family welcomed our firstborn, Emerson. It was then that my passion for education became stronger. Our family has been blessed to receive support, skills, and guidance from The FOUNDATION for many years. I am thrilled that I have been given the opportunity to work with our families in Central Florida. I am honored to work for this community and our beautiful T21 family."
Lauren will be spearheading our curriculum development for Self-Advocacy Training & Employment Readiness Training. She will also provide reading and math support and help identify needs/services that will make the participants most successful in the workplace. 

Welcome to the team, Lauren!
Parent Informational Meeting - The Importance of a Clean Gut. And How to Make it Happen Fast.
When: Thursday, June 16
Time: 7 pm to 9 pm
Location: Summit Church, 735 Herndon Avenue, Orlando, 32803
Barbara Burnes is a mother of 5 whose youngest child, David, has Down syndrome. In an effort to help her middle son with some GI issues, Barbara discovered a shocking and life changing difference in her youngest son as well. David went from reading at a K-1st grade level to reading at a 4th grade level. And his speech EXPLODED. “The gut brain axis is REAL!” Barbara says, “and our children’s ability to better process information, learn and speak hinges on a that single axis.” Barbara is entertaining and passionate to share what she’s learned with other families.
Why is it important for people with Down syndrome to eat a healthy diet?
People with Down syndrome have a slower metabolism than people without Down syndrome, which means they burn the calories they eat 10-15% slower and will burn less calories during exercise. This means that it can be easier for people with Down syndrome to gain weight, making them more susceptible to the long-term health conditions associated with being overweight or obese.
This is our FIRST in-person Parent Informational Meeting since 2020! Dinner will be provided to all participants and childcare will be provided by The FOUNDATION! We look forward to seeing you in person!
***RSVP is required for childcare and dinner***
June iCan! Surf
When: Saturday, June 18
Time: 9 am to 11 am
Location: Hiles Blvd. Beach Park, 4516 S. Atlantic Avenue, New Smyrna Beach, 32169

iCan! Surf is designed to teach surfing skills to members of any age. Each session includes instruction on the beach and in the water so participants know how to get up on a surfboard and experience riding in the surf. The FOUNDATION partners with Chris Ross who provides the lessons and volunteers that are familiar with the area and surfing. 

To ensure your loved one keeps learning, we ask parents (or older siblings) to participate in the lessons. You will work alongside instructors and volunteers in the water so please come beach ready!  

If you are not able to get into the water, we will have volunteers who can help, however, the goal is to continue practicing after the lesson so having a family/friend attend with you who can participate in the water is most beneficial.

Please bring: 

  • beach chairs
  • towels
  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses/hat
  • water bottle
  • a snack (the surfers get HUNGRY!)

The cost is $20 per participant. Each registered participant will receive a t-shirt and certificate at the end of the day!
Mom's Day Out
When: Monday, June 20
Time: 3:30 PM - The boat leaves at 4 PM for an hour tour
Location: Location: Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour, 312 East Morse Blvd, Winter Park.
Time: 5:30 PM - Cocina 214 - dinner & drinks
Location: 151 East Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, 32789inter Park, 32789

Join our June Mom's Night Out for a scenic tour of Winter Park by water! Located on Lake Osceola in the quiet suburb less than 10 minutes from downtown Orlando, the boat tour offers hour-long, guided cruises through three of the seven lakes and two, narrow manmade canals on the tranquil Winter Park chain.

After the boat tour, we will have dinner to enjoy more time for conversation and catching up at Cocina 214 in Winter Park! Can't make the boat tour? Join us for dinner! The FOUNDATION will cover $15 of your meal! Menu items range from $13 to $20's - https://cocina214.com/ to learn more.

*Please note: limited space is available - once all eighteen (18) spaces have been reserved there will be a wait list. Boating cost and $15 of your dinner will be covered by The FOUNDATION! We look forward to seeing you!
T21 Social Network (18+)
When: Tuesday, June 21
Time: 3 pm to 6 pm
Location: Boardwalk Bowl 10749 East Colonial Drive, Orlando, 32817

Calling our 18+ members! Our T21 Social Network program is for members 18+ and will give them the opportunity to gain independence, socialize, and make new friends and memories!

Join us on Tuesday, June 21 at Boardwalk Bowl for bowling fun and pizza with friends! The FOUNDATION will cover YOUR cost of bowling, shoe rental, and pizza! Please bring money if you wish to purchase any additional food items, thank you!

Questions?
Contact Caroline at caroline.sanchez@dsfflorida.org. A confirmation email will be sent the week of the event.
Young Explorers Meet-Up
Location: Friendship Park, 200 West Broadway Street, Oviedo, 32765.
Date: Saturday, June 25
Time: 9 am to 11 am

Join us for our June Young Explorers Meet-Up!

The Young Explorers (members in 1st through 6th grade) will be meeting up on Saturday, June 25 to spend some quality time with friends and getting to know other families in The FOUNDATION! Enjoy the wonderful playground with shaded coverings and bring a picnic lunch to enjoy this Summer meet-up!

A BIG Thank you to Young Explorer's Coordinator - Claudia Chiorando, on helping us plan and host our June event!
Club 321
When: Thursday, June 30
Time: 10 am to 1 pm
Location: Blue Jacket Park, Baldwin Park, 2501 General Rees Avenue, Winter Park.
Club 321 (middle and high school-aged members) join us at Blue Jacket Park for an afternoon of field games with friends! Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy time outdoors celebrating the start to summer! Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and bring a water bottle to stay hydrated!
PLEASE NOTE: This is a drop-off event (sorry - parents are not invited) we will have volunteers to assist with members.

Club 321 is for our members in middle and high school. 

Questions? You can email Robin at robin.longley@dsfflorida.org. A confirmation email with detailed day-of information will be sent the week of the event, thank you!
Neurodevelopmental Approach
with Kay Ness
Scholarships are open!
Kay Ness will return to Orlando from
July 11-July 20

For over 60 years, the neurodevelopmental approach to working with learning, mobility, speech, language, processing and attention problems, has been offering hope to parents of children who have received a variety of labels. 
 
This program has helped many children with various learning abilities make advancements in academic gains, sensory issues and behavior modification and other areas through the innovative and personalized programs by Kay Ness.   
 
People trained in the neurodevelopmental approach look at the causes, train the parents to work with their child at home to address the problems, and also accelerate academics to help the child catch up. By addressing root causes of learning and developmental problems, Kay has helped many many families help their loved ones reach levels of achievement that was thought impossible.
Contact Kay at KNess@mindspring.com to schedule an evaluation.
11th Annual iCan! Bike Camp - open for registration and volunteering!
Have you registered for iCan! Bike Camp?
  • When: July 24-29

  • Where: Orange County Convention Center

  • Cost: $50 for members/$150 for non-members per rider which includes 5 days of camp (75 minutes a day), a t-shirt, and a helmet.

  • Who: Anybody over the age of 8 who does not ride a two-wheel bicycle. If your child doesn't ride, we hope you will consider registering him/her.
RIDERS AND VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
The Down Syndrome FOUNDATION of Florida has invited iCan Shine 
(a nonprofit organization that teaches individuals with unique abilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle) to Orlando for our 11th annual bike camp. The camp is open to individuals who are over 8 years old and who are unable to ride a two-wheel bike. The camp cost is $50 for members/$150 for non-members per rider which include 5 days of camp (75 minutes a day), a t-shirt, and a helmet.
Rider Requirements (limited spots available):

  • Must be able to attend all 5 days of camp.

  • Must be at least 8 years old by the start of camp.

  • Must be able to walk without an assistive device and sidestep to both sides.

  • Must be able to attend the same 75-minute session each day of the 5-day camp.

  • Must have a bicycle.

  •  Must be under 220 lbs. and have a minimum inseam measurement of 20” (measure from the floor with sneakers on).

  • Participant can follow instructions and comply with authoritative figures/volunteers when asked.
Riders use a specialized bicycle designed to teach appropriate balance for the entire 75 minutes each day while accompanied by their assigned volunteers. Riders begin indoors then transition outside as their progression permits. Additionally, camp staff provides fun motivational teaching on a specially designed tandem bike that is generally well-received by riders.
Volunteer Requirements:
 
  • At least 15 years old (unless accompanied by an adult).

  • Able to attend 90 minutes at the same time each of the 5 days of camp (15 minutes of training/daily debriefing).

  • Able to provide physical, emotional, and motivational support to the assigned rider.

  • Able and willing to get some exercise (light jogging/running) for a great cause!
The goal of iCan! Bike Camp...

is to teach individuals with unique abilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle and become lifelong independent riders. This achievement, in turn, creates a gateway of opportunity, helping them gain assurance and self-reliance in many other aspects of their lives.
Check out our iCan! Bike Camp 10th anniversary video here!
If you have questions or concerns about whether your child is ready to learn, please visit our website or email Camille. Learning to ride a bicycle is hard work but the rewards are amazing! Riding will create an avenue to independence for the participants by helping riders gain assurance, self-confidence and giving them a gateway to become active members in their community. We are excited to partner with you and your family to help your son/daughter achieve this huge milestone.

For financial assistance, please contact Camille.Gardiner@dsfflorida.org
Share the news with your friends, family, colleagues or community!
Want to volunteer?
When: July 24-29
Where: Orange County Convention Center
Sessions (for each day): 
  1. 8:30 am - 9:45 am
  2. 10:05 am - 11:20 am
  3. 11:40 am - 12:55 pm
  4. 2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
  5. 3:35 pm - 4:50 pm
Oral Motor Therapy - Register Now!
Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) uses a hierarchical based approach to improve speech clarity and feeding skills in individuals of all ages and across diagnoses. These innovative techniques focus on motor movement activities used to improve phonation, resonation, and speech clarity. Combined with a tactile-sensory approach, OPT provides a comprehensive solution to a variety of speech and feeding issues. OPT involves the use of therapy tools to train and transition muscle movements for speech production. Our techniques, applied in combination with the tools, make the difference in client’s lives.
The FOUNDATION offers traveling clinics to provide oral placement evaluations and program development. This program is highly beneficial, however, the evaluation is a one-time visit that provides an outline for an ongoing program that must be implemented by a parent or speech therapist on a daily or weekly basis.

To learn more about Oral Placement Therapy please visit: https://talktools.com/pages/parent-video-library

Parents are required to view the second video on the page - "Parents' Guide to Talk Tools" to be eligible for an Oral Motor Therapy Scholarship.

The next Evaluations will be: July 27-30, 2022
Click here to email Camille Gardiner if you have any questions or
need more information.
Virtual Zumba with Elyse!
When: Every Tuesday
Time: 4 pm
Location: Virtual meeting using Zoom - can be found below, on our private Facebook page, Meetup, or by emailing:

Elyse Mundelein will be teaching a virtual Zumba class! We will post the Zoom information of the event below or on our private Facebook page. No experience needed, just get ready to dance and have fun!
Upcoming dates:

  • Tuesday, June 7
  • Tuesday, June 14
  • Tuesday, June 21
  • Tuesday, June 28
Virtual Club 321
Join our Club 321 virtual meet-up for middle and high-schoolers!
When: Every Wednesday
Time: 4 pm-5 pm
Location: Virtual meeting using Zoom - can be found below, on our private Facebook page, Meetup, or by emailing,

This is a great opportunity for our middle and high school group to socialize, engage, and connect with each other. We'll have something new and different each week!
Upcoming dates:

  • Wednesday, June 8 - Guess that song
  • Wednesday, June 15 - Drawing lesson
  • Wednesday, June 22 - Rock, paper, scissors tournament
  • Wednesday, June 29 - Jeopardy
Virtual T21 Social Network (18+)
When: Every Thursday
Time: 4 pm-5 pm
Location: Virtual meeting using Zoom - can be found below, on our private Facebook page, Meetup, or by emailing,

This is a great opportunity for our adult group to socialize, engage, and connect with each other. We'll have something new and different each week!
Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday, June 9 - Virtual escape room
  • Thursday, June 16 - Goal setting
  • Thursday, June 23 - Story races
  • Thursday, June 30- Workout class with Morganne
Camping Jamboree 2022
SAVE THE DATE!
November 11-13
Technology Corner
Summer is here!
We need screen protection!
Digital Tricks to Make Tech Work Better for Your Family

Here are some tricks to improve what your kids watch, see, play, and do:


  • Make YouTube more kid-friendly. YouTube's Restricted Mode hides most age-inappropriate videos and also enables safe search in Google. Just go to YouTube. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. See the little box that says "Restricted Mode: Off"? Click it on.

  • Get serious about passwords. Kids are accumulating more and more passwords for school, services, social sites, and even their devices -- and it's easy to forget, misplace, or share them by accident. But with increasing large-scale data attacks targeting log-in information, it's vital to protect the confidentiality and security of your information. Password managers not only generate passwords and keep them secure, but they can also help reinforce the importance of safeguarding your private information. A few to try: LastPass1Password, and KeePass.

  • Help your kid manage screen time. Kids don't necessarily have a built-in off switch. But learning when enough is enough is an essential digital-age skill. Software timers such as Timers4Me and Time Timer count down the minutes you've set, allowing kids to take responsibility for managing their own screen time. They work for other tasks, too, such as practicing piano or getting ready to leave the house in the morning.

Let's get social!
Follow us on social media for more information and to stay up-to-date on our upcoming events.