Thank you to all our sponsors, supporters and volunteers
for helping us navigate this past year!
ADSA is looking forward to 2022 and continuing support for our
Arkansas Down Syndrome families!
Happy New Year!


2021 the year of Perseverance!
"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after the other."
Walter Elliot

This past year of pandemic has forced upon us many tough lessons, yet also reminded us of our own toughness—and the toughness of those heroes who came before us. David and Suzie Hicks moved their family to Arkansas in 1965—in an era of institutionalization and exclusion—and began pioneering a better way. Their oldest child, Pam, was born with Down syndrome. Pam would go on to medal in state and international Special Olympics swimming; she reveled in John Denver, Elvis, and the Razorbacks—and worked at Easterseals Arkansas for almost forty years. David and Suzie spent decades in community service; advocated continuously on behalf of people with special needs in our state; and lead the formation and mission development of Arkansas Down Syndrome Association (ADSA)—all while raising six children! David and Pam both finished their personal races and passed away in 2021: both pioneers, both heroes, both tough. All of us at ADSA are grateful for the Hicks family and their living examples of perseverance. In honor of their legacy and lessons, take a look at what we accomplished in 2021!

Highlights of our FREE Events and Programs in 2021

Keep in Touch
Throughout the year we kept the most up to date information not only on Down syndrome but also COVID 19 easily accessible on our website and our FB page. Sign up on our website and follow us on Facebook to receive current DS news and event updates!

Free Sensory Mask
COVID 19 brought with it the need for everyone to wear a protective face covering, which is difficult for many of our friends with Down syndrome, (DS). Through a very generous donation from friends at Briggs Equipment, ADSA distributed hundreds of Sensory Friendly Masks to people of all ages with Down syndrome and sensory issues across the state of Arkansas-- simply by filling out a request on our website. These awesome masks were designed by an Occupational Therapist in Rhode Island and are made in America! Visit our website to request a mask! ardownsyndrome.org
Book Program!
Arkansas DS families can get a free copy of these books simply by registering for them on our website.
  1. “Babies with Down Syndrome, A New Parents Guide”-covers birth to age 5
  2. "Supporting Positive Behavior in Children and Teens with Down Syndrome"
  3. "Diagnosis to Delivery: A Pregnant Mother's Guide to Down Syndrome"
  4. "Welcoming a Newborn with Down Syndrome: A New Parent's Guide to the First Month"
Hospital Visa Gift Cards, ACH Little Rock (LR)
Whenever a child with DS is admitted to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in LR, the family can apply on our website to receive a $25 visa gift card (limit 4 per family per admission) to help with miscellaneous needs.
2021 Family Support Webinar Series
In order to continue providing our families with educational opportunities, ADSA collaborated with Community Connections to produce the 2021 Family Support Webinar Series. These free, monthly, 60 min webinars consisted of wide ranging timely, pertinent topics featuring both local and national speakers. Anyone is welcome to attend the webinars, but they were also recorded allowing registered participants to view at their convenience.

Mom's Night Out provides free dinner out for our moms to connect with others across all stages of life and experiences. A short educational presentation is given; goody bags handed out to all and a drawing for door prizes! Dinners are rotated around the central AR area and provide moms a night out to network!

Dinner Club provides a free dinner out for parents and caregivers to share stories and network! A short educational presentation is given; ADSA updates discussed; goody bags handed out to all and a drawing for door prizes! Several parents took home free books and printed information on DS.

Club Connect a social night out for teens and young adults with DS! ADSA provided a meal, everyone played bingo with lots of prizes handed out and party favors for all! These nights allow our teens and young adults a chance to get out, share a meal and enjoy each other's company!
Mom's Night Out
Dinner Club
Club Connect
March 21-World Down Syndrome Day Rocks!
To celebrate WDSD and spread awareness, ADSA sent our Arkansas DS families rock painting kits. Everyone had fun painting their rocks and placing them around their community for others to find!
In May and June we sponsored registration fees for 20 ADSA Families to attend the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), 2021 National Convention-A Brand New Day. This annual national convention provides up to date pertinent information and resources specific to Down syndrome.

In July we sponsored ADSA's FREE, Days of Summer "Camp out of the Box" for children with DS and their siblings. After months of families home schooling and quarantining, our goal was to provide caregivers "help" with fun activities (and materials) already put together! Boxes had 4 days of themed educational activities with supplies included! Each week boxes were sent to 50 families serving 75 children!
Ava's Sidewalk Chalk Mosiac!
Everett Receiving his Camp out of the Box!
Skylar making a craft!
Arkansas Down Syndrome Association
Receives Rainwater, Holt and Sexton
Spirit of Arkansas Award!
Touch Base Tuesday Zooms!
One Tuesday a month, caregivers from around the state meet and discuss what's going on in their lives, hear ADSA and COVID updates, and commune with other caregivers.

In October we kicked off Down Syndrome Awareness Month, by lighting the downtown Little Rock bridges blue and yellow and hosted our first Buddy Walk! People from around the state participated to help raise DS awareness!
ADSA also gave away over 100 FREE DS Awareness Yard Signs to families around the state--to proudly display in their yards! We also sent out FREE DS Awareness Bookmarks and Glow in the Dark Wristbands around the state for parents and teachers to share with their schools and churches.
Touch Base Tuesday Zooms with
Moms and Dads
Downtown Little Rock bridge lighting!
DS Awareness Bookmarks
Community Outreach
Our board members try to visit primary, secondary and post-secondary schools to speak about Down syndrome. Though COVID prevented us from speaking at schools, we were able to provide awareness materials, (Facts about DS Bookmarks, Awareness Wristbands and Person First Language Pledge Certificates), to six central Arkansas schools and help them plan awareness activities for their students and faculty.
Springhill Elementary, Bryant
Theodore Jones Elementary, Conway
Robinson Elementary, Little Rock
Robinson Middle School, Little Rock
Family Zoo Day!
In November we hosted a free day at the Little Rock Zoo for Arkansas DS Families. Tables were reserved in front of the Elephant stage for ADSA guests to rest and visit with water and lemonade available.
December- Christmas Party
Sponsored by That.Church in Sherwood, our Christmas Party is fun for all ages! Have your picture taken with Santa, make a craft, play some games, karaoke, win door prizes and enjoy the season with community peers young and old! 
FREE Winter Break Activity Boxes were also offered to AR DS families in an effort to "help" caregivers with winter break boredom. We sent boxes out with 4 days of themed activities (materials included) to 50 families!

Sprinkles the Elf visited via Interactive Zoom and took us on a fun tour of the North Pole! DS families around the state enjoyed Sprinkles reading a story, singing with them and talking to each child/young adult and siblings too!
Zooming with Sprinkles the Elf!

ADSA’s mission is to empower people with Down syndrome—and their families—by promoting community education, evidence-based healthcare, and social opportunities across lifespans. To that end, we provide ongoing annual activities, special events and community programs.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization; all your donations are tax deductible and stay here in Arkansas! Your support allows us to continue producing most of our educational and social events at no-cost or reduced-cost to Arkansas families—as well as provide important free community programs.
Arkansas Down Syndrome Association | 501-223-3696 | contact@ardownsyndrome.org | ardownsyndrome.org