March 27, 2020

Hello MDSC teen and adults (and families)!

It has been a week since we sent our last newsletter. A lot has happened! We have been excited to see so many resources and activities that are popping up online and will share some of our favorites below. We have also loved hearing from some of you about how you are doing and what activities you are enjoying.

We encourage you to write us back and share videos, photos and notes of how you are staying in touch with friends, staying active and entertained, and more! We would love to include YOU in next week's newsletter.

Parents - at the bottom of the newsletter are some resources and an upcoming webinar that might be of interest to you and your family.

Sending a virtual elbow bump to you all! :)
Colleen, Kristen and Laura
Weekly motivation!
Into the Woods tribute

Alex Robichaud and his mom Becky created a dance to go with their favorite song from 'Into the Woods' to celebrate the cast, crew and production team at Open Door Theater . Today would have been the show's opening with Becky serving as choreography director.

Our AIM group attended Open Door Theater's production of 'The Little Mermaid' last year and loved it! We hope to make it to next year's show!

Send us your videos and photos , and we'll share them in an upcoming newsletter! It is a great way to stay connected and motivated!
Staying Active at Home
Here's a couple of our favorite ways to stay active this week:
Special Olympics and the WWE have teamed up to bring workouts to YOU!
Even more exciting - MDSC member Beth Donahue (in above photo) helps lead some of the workouts!

U nified Health and Performance
We are so excited to partner with Brendan Aylward at Unified Health and Performance to give you access to live and at-home workouts for free (no equipment needed)!

  • LIVE Zoom Workouts! - Monday-Thursday, 5pm, to learn more and join, visit and schedule a free 10-minute call with Brendan to go over your fitness goals and get the link to attend

  • At-Home Workout Videos - click on the 'Athletes At-Home Platform' tab at the top, you can choose from different 2-7 minute workouts with or without verbal coaching

To learn more about the great work Brendan is doing at his inclusive fitness center in Lancaster, click here . UHP has also developed a certification course called AdaptX to support fitness professionals in training adaptive athletes, including a lengthy module on Down syndrome.
What other ways are YOU staying active?
Share your ideas, and we will include them in our next newsletter!

Member Highlight!
Here's Evan Messina and his family. They got outdoors and enjoyed a 2-hour hike last week!
Entertainment Ideas
for the whole family
Sunday, March 29, 7pm

This year's Boston Jewish Film Festival is now online! Shakespeare in Tokyo features actor Gerard O'Dwyer and will play during Sunday's screening of international short films. It is free to watch, you just need to RSVP . Here is the description:

An Australian Shakespeare fan with Down Syndrome, sets off on a solo adventure to discover Tokyo in order to get away from his over-bearing older brother and prove his independence. Along the way he uses his knowledge of the Bard, his sketchbook and his wits to win the hearts of the people he meets.

*Please note: we have not seen this movie, so we do not have information on use of language, inappropriate themes, etc. Families - please use your best judgement!
How are YOU staying entertained?

Ben M. says that he and his roommates are playing lots of games - charades, Pictionary and Wii!
  • favorite podcast
  • favorite movie
  • favorite book
  • favorite hobby
  • favorite song
  • favorite game
Share your ideas , and we will include them in our next newsletter!
Learn something new
Refresh your skills
Best Buddies Pre-Employment Training Program is now VIRTUAL!
Starting Monday March 23rd, Best Buddies will be presenting a NEW Pre-ETS workshop Monday - Thursday, using video webinars via Zoom and online learning through Google Classroom. Join us one day or every day - up to you. Each session will be FUN plus a great way for you to continue to prepare for your post-secondary plans!

Parent Corner
The MDSC team is continually updating resources for families during the coronavirus pandemic and a document of educational tools and resources that we hope might help as your family navigates these uncertain times. If you've come across something that has helped you or your daughter/son with Down syndrome, please send it our way so we can share with our MDSC community.

Below are some items that may be of interest:
  • Do you have questions about special education services during this extended time out of school? See this important update from our partners at Mass Advocates for Children, Your Rights: Special Education and COVID-19

  • Our Down syndrome and Mental Health support group met by Zoom earlier this week. Many of the things they discussed relate to this article from the Harvard Business Review, That Discomfort You're Feeling is Grief.