Volume 1 Issue 1 | October 2019
Bold New Vision for 2020
Executive Director's Message
I want to be sure you heard the BIG NEWS in case you missed the Triangle Buddy Walk.
It is my honor to announce that the Triangle Down Syndrome Network has evolved into the new North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance (NCDSA), a llowing us to extend our services throughout the state of North Carolina. Our vision is to expand our NC Parents First Call Program, educational, and support programs across North Carolina by serving all of North Carolina’s 100 counties. We are committed to establishing local community groups in under-served areas and partnering with local non-profits, ensuring every baby born in North Carolina with Down syndrome receives a joyous welcome and parents receive vital support and resources.

As of January 1, 2020, the transition to the North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance will be complete. The expansion will continue in early 2020 and include a three-phase roll out. The three phases will consist of medical outreach, identifying families of individuals with Down syndrome, and implementing the NC Parents First Call program in counties not currently served by local Down syndrome support agencies. Newly formed local community groups will begin to serve families in other geographical areas. Families currently served by the TDSN will belong to the Triangle Community Group. The Eastern NC Family Group will continue to serve families in Beaufort, Pitt, Lenoir and Craven Counties. The NCDSA will open a satellite office in Eastern NC to serve that region of the state not already served by our partners. As part of the expansion the NCDSA will create the Southeastern Community Group and the Sandhills Community Group. Each community group will have trained new parent mentors, volunteers, advocacy, programming, and social events consistent with the needs of the area it serves.

The North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance will continue to be responsible for the North Carolina Advocacy Day and the North Carolina Down Syndrome Conference. We will continue to build relationships with our elected officials and bureaucrats in the capital.

It is an exciting step for the newly formed North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance. It is our goal and vision to empower, connect, and support individuals with Down syndrome and expand our partnerships with the medical community and other community organizations. It is a critical step to serve families in under-served areas. We must empower and equip individuals with Down syndrome to reach their unlimited potential. People with Down syndrome can be, and are, productive members of society and should not be defined by the fact that they have Down syndrome. It is our goal that others see beyond the characteristics of Down syndrome and see each person for who they are.

Thank you to our past and present board members, our families, volunteers, and partners for the work and dedication to the Triangle Down Syndrome Network over the past 21 years. I invite you to celebrate the new North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance with us and to embrace the opportunities this will bring to the greater Down syndrome community!

With gratitude,
Christina Reaves
Executive Director
North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance

Triangle Buddy Walk - Thank You

The 2019 Triangle Buddy Walk was held on Sunday, October 6th and was a huge success. We had 91 Buddy Walk teams and two teams with over 60 participants. We had over 1300 participants for the entire day! Many families drove over an hour to attend. The most exciting part of the day is that is we met our goal of raising $130,000!

Highlights of the afternoon:
  • Celebrity Row, featuring Rachel Osterbach from A&E's Emmy award winning show "Born This Way"
  • Eight individuals with Down syndrome promoting their businesses or talents
  • Karaoke Star Search competition with five contestants moving on to the final round at the Annual Mardi Gras Party in February 2020
  • Master of Ceremonies Mark Roberts from WRAL
  • Announcement of the 2020 Community Partner of the Year, Marcia VanRiper and Self-advocate of the Year, Matthew Schwab
  • The reveal of our 2020 Vision and the North Carolina Down Syndrome Alliance

The Buddy Walk is our largest event and fundraiser of the year and makes up a majority of our annual operating budget. The funds from the Buddy Walk allow us to reach numerous populations in addition to providing support to new and expectant families, medical outreach packets to health care providers, training to educators on best practices, and social and networking opportunities to our families and individuals with Down syndrome. Your continued support keeps us going throughout the year.

Online giving will remain open through November 15th
Saturday, November 16, 2019
Northern Wake Tech Campus
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
6600 Louisburg Road
Raleigh, NC 27616
Promoting Strengths and Adaptive Resources in Persons With Down Syndrome

Dennis will focus on creative ways to adapt to challenges that have not been emphasized previously. This includes the implementation of concrete forms of thought that will actually affect one's understanding of time, changes in schedule and routine, and the ability to generalize skills across settings. This may also influence the ability to understand communication (such as from teachers, employers, etc.) as well as one's sense of humor or response to humor. We will also reiterate key behavioral characteristics such as self-talk, 'grooves,' social sensitivity, and receptiveness to visual memory and cues – with an emphasis on how these characteristics interact and influence each other. We will discuss how to take advantage of this interaction to solve problems and promote adaptive functioning. For example, we will show how to “reset” a stuck groove (a compulsion) or manage a new situation with the strategic use of self-talk and visual checklists. 
The Future is Bright, Thanks to Research

Longitudinal Investigation for Enhancing Down Syndrome Research

Adults with Down syndrome age 25 and older are being recruited for a research study where scientists want to learn about how adults with Down syndrome change as they age. They particularly want to develop tools to measure the changes that are associated with Alzheimer's disease for people with Down syndrome.

Duke Health is one of eleven research sites part of the Down Syndrome Clinical Trial Network conducting studies along with the LuMind IDSC Foundation. For more information about the study or to participate locally, please contact: Jane Anne Baker at 919-668-4576 or janeann.baker@duke.edu
Upcoming Events

October 12th: Music Class with Love Joy Music (Greenville) 10:00 a.m.

October 29th: Family Fun Night Spooktacular at Marbles (Raleigh) 5:30 p.m.

November 1st: Moms' Night Out Basil's Restaurant & Pizzeria (Greenville) 6:30 p.m.

November 16th: North Carolina Down Syndrome Conference 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

December 7th: NCDSA & Gigi's Holiday Party at Colonial Baptist Church (Cary)

December 14th: Christmas Party with Santa (Greenville) 11:00 a.m.
Connect with NCDSA on Social Media
Stay current and in the know with NCDSA
NCDSA Board of Directors Meetings

Capitol Financial Solutions | 8816 Six Forks Rd. | Suite 301 | Raleigh
Third Monday of the month | 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
October 21st | November 18th
Together We Can Do So Much!
Why support the NCDSA? Your generosity helps us embrace new families with welcome baby bags and provide expectant mothers with up-to-date resources.  
Among other things, your support helps to educate healthcare professionals on how to deliver a diagnosis of Down syndrome and provide special healthcare guidelines for people with Down syndrome. Whether a monetary donation, volunteering, or in-kind support, we thank you!