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MDSC Teen and Adult Newsletter
May 22, 2020

Hello MDSC teens and adults (and families and friends),

We are highlighting two more MDSC members - James Ricardi and Derek Shepardson- in this week's Senior Spotlight!

We have added another virtual event in June. Hope you can join us for Amy's Yoga!

Family members - at the bottom of the newsletter are some resources that might be of interest to you and your family.

Hope you can enjoy some time outdoors this weekend,
Colleen, Kristen and Laura
Weekly Motivation
A COVID-19 Time Capsule
Thank you to James Ricardi for sharing this amazing video! James, who has Down syndrome and Selective Mutism, was a student at Worcester Technical High School before the virus interrupted his senior year. (Check out James in the Senior Spotlight section below, too!)
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!
Upcoming Events
*Just added!* Amy's Yoga - Saturday, June 6
Amy invites teens and adults, ages 13 and up, to join her for a morning yoga session!

Saturday, June 6 at 11am

The Details:
  • Opening Circle - Share your name and favorite snack
  • Warm-up - Amy will lead us in a warm-up with deep breathing and stretching
  • Frozen Yoga - We will follow along with Cosmic Kids Frozen yoga!
We're bringing the AIM Spring Fling back with our friends from the NCL - Blue Hills Chapter!

Virtual AIM Spring Fling
for youth ages 13-22

Saturday, May 30

Summer of Salsa
Participate in one or both events!
Saturday, June 13
Salsa Dance Lesson!

4pm class, ages 13-20 - Register

5pm class, ages 21+ - Register

Join us for a virtual dance class to learn some salsa moves with our friend Kelley St. Hilaire of Kadanse Ballroom & Latin Dance Studio!
Saturday, June 20
Summer Salsa Party!

event open to youth & adults with Down syndrome and friends, ages 13+

We're kicking off summer with an epic dance party! Music by DJ Dan, dance moves by YOU, and fun for ALL!
Staying Active & Well at Home
Marie has been enjoying walks with her sister, yoga and the treadmill!
Kindness Project
Cynthia Goldberg, MDSC Buddy Walk by the Sea Ambassador, and her mom have been sending kindness to friends and family with 'Love and Peace' roses.
Love - Pink sends appreciation and gratitude.
Peace- Yellow delivers joy, gladness, friendship, delight, freedom and the promise of a new beginning.

Here's their template if you want to spread some kindness of your own!
What ways are YOU staying active and healthy?
Share your ideas, and we will include them in our next newsletter!
Learn Something New
'We Wear Masks' Social Story
Are you trying to understand why everyone is wearing masks these days? Here is a helpful social story !
Exploring Work
MDSC Self Advocate Advisory Council (SAAC) member Ashley Wolfe was part of a team that created the Explore Work Curriculum . If you are starting to think about work, check it out!

Some things Explore Work can help people understand are:
  • how having a job can make your life better,
  • how to think about the kind of job you may want,
  • who can help you get a job,
  • how to speak up for yourself,
  • how to talk about your disability,
  • how to plan for transportation, and
  • stories of people who are successful at work.
Free Food Safety Training
ServSafe is offering their Food Handler Class and Exam for FREE!

You must sign up for it by May 31, but then you have 1 year to start the course.

The online course covers 5 key areas:
  • Basic Food Safety
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Cross-Contamination & Allergens
  • Time and Temperature
  • Cleaning and Sanitation
Senior Spotlight!
Congratulations, James Ricardi!
James is shown here dressed up for the prom! His class had a Zoom prom night, and everyone dressed up and danced.

Looking forward to : I am looking forward to seeing my friends, my grammy and grampa and hugging my brother again.

Goals for the future : I n the future I hope to work with animals. I have been volunteering at the Ecotarium for 2 years and am now a wildlife volunteer.

Favorite memories of high school : M y favorite memories from high school are working in the animal clinic at my school and my track and field and basketball teams and my friends.
Congratulations, Derek Shepardson!
Looking forward to : participating in the 12+ class at Attleboro high school in September where he can learn more job skills and life skills. He is also looking forward to getting a part time job once companies are open from the virus. He's not sure where yet.

Goals for the future : getting married some day and a full time job

Favorite memories of high school : participating in Best Buddies, going to the Junior Prom, the Best Buddies Proms and watching the cheerleaders competition
Parent Corner
As Massachusetts and other states slowly start to reopen, there are new questions and challenges ahead. Here are two resources recently added to our COVID-19 resource page . 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.
How To Start Planning for an Individual with Special Needs
Wednesday, May 27 at 7pm
The MDSC is excited to offer this workshop to parents of any age. This session will give you a foundational understanding of what you need to consider when putting together a long term plan for your loved one with special needs. Topics covered will include government benefits, special needs trusts and ABLE accounts. 

Leo Rotman, parent of a child with special needs who brings a unique perspective including personal and professional experience to working with children and adults with special needs and their families.
Registration is now open for the MDSC 36th Annual Virtual Conference. Register at  for $29.99 per household.

Each spring, over 600 people with Down syndrome, their family members, health care professionals and educators from across New England attend our Annual Conference on Down syndrome. Though we are not able to gather in person this year, we join together virtually to hear the latest research findings and timely information from national and local experts on a range of topics related to Down syndrome.

Special features include the opening celebration honoring our trailblazers, sponsor and exhibitor galleries, and both recorded presentations and live, interactive workshops!