See what's new at The Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada!

This month we prepare for some exciting events and welcome new staff and interns to the DSNNN family.

Up com ing Events

Pancake Breakfast  

DSNNN's 4th Annual Flapjack Fundraiser  is just around the corner on March 11, 2017 from 8am-10am. Club 21 members and our Board of Directors are serving up a short stack for a tall cause at Applebee's Restaurant on Kietzke Ln. Be on the lookout for more information and registration  on our Facebook page and in your email. 


Our next Sibshop is right around the corner and we want to see you all there! Sunday, March 5 from 1:00pm-4:00pm we will be meeting at the Fire Station #11. Located at 7105 Mae Anne Avenue, we will be in the Community Center room on the ground floor ready to play games and eat some snacks! Bring your kids to come experience the joy of connecting with their peers while having a good time. If you are interested in coming to the event it is $5 per SibShop per family and you can register here.
Resources & Opportunities
An inclusive, two-year, non-degree c ertificate program offering a college experience to students with intellectual disabilities at the University of Nevada, Reno. This month they are holding two fam ily information sessions which include a tour of UNR, details about the program, discussions with current P2I students, their parents, educational coaches, mentors and instructors. The dates for these meetings are as follows:
Saturday, February 18, 10am to 12pm
in the Mathewson IGT Knowledge Center Room 107
Monday, February 20, 6pm to 8pm
in the Great Room  of the Joe Crowley Building floor 4. 

UNR Health Study
Are you interested in talking about your child's diet or eating habits and earning a $10 Starbucks gift card at the same time? 
Who is needed?
Researchers MaryAnn Demchak, Ph.D. and Brianna Grumstrup, UNR doctoral student of special  education are looking for parents of children with intellectual disabilities (ID) or ID paired with other diagnoses (such as autism, cerebral palsy, genetic conditions etc.)
To help them understand lived experiences of parents with their child's eating habits. Research shows that there are sometimes issues with diet and health with children with ID, but we want to find out why children choose the foods they do and how parents and families experience these choices.
How it Works
One recorded interview (30-45 minutes) by phone, email , or Internet with the researcher about your child's eating habits/dietary issues, with one follow up contact (much shorter) to clarify any statements or questions. Real names and identities will not be shared with anyone but the researchers. 
If you would like to participate or get more information email 
MaryAnn Demchak at
Brianna Grumstrup at

JUSTinHope Support Meeting
Join us for an informational evening. Mr. Bryce L. Rader from Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd will be presenting on special needs life planning. He will discuss special needs trusts, ABLE Accounts and answer any questions you may have. It's never too soon to start planning for our children's future. 
Fire Station #11/Community Center
7105 Mae Anne Ave., Reno, 89523
Wednesday, February 22nd
at 7:00-8:00pm
Register here

National Child Feeding Survey
What is involved in this study?
This is a feeding study on children 1-4 years old with a diagnosis of down syndrome or austin spectrum disorder. Participation in the study would involve recording video of your child eating different food products at home.
How long will the study last?
Individual participation will take 1 week to complete and will involve recording child-feeding sessions at home for 6 days in-a-row. 
Compensation for participating
For filling out the questionnaire regarding eating habits of your child, you will be entered in a drawing for the chance to win a $500 gift card. 
If you and your child are elected to participate in the study, and complete all the child-feeding sessions, you will receive a $125 gift card.
Interested in this study?
Email Ben Bernhard at

Be SAFE Training Workshop
Learn how to safely interact with first responders in a safe and fun environment
This is a workshop to help families and individuals affected by autism and other neurodevelopment disorders safely interact with first responders. The workshop will include curriculum organized by the BE SAFE program and fun activities provided by a local Sparks Police Officer.
Sparks Police Department
1701 E. Prater Way
Sparks, NV 89434
Sunday, March 12
from 2:00-6:00pm
Training is recommended for individuals 12 and older that are independent and/or accompanied by a parent/caregiver. 
Register here

FREE Tax Help
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to people who generally make $54,000 or less, persons with disabilities and limited English speaking taxpayers who need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. IRS-certified volunteers provide free basic income tax return preparation with electronic filing to qualified individuals.
VITA volunteers will be working out of the Sparks Library located at:
1125 12th St.
Sparks, NV 89431

New Staff & Interns
Introducing Our New Programs Coordinator

Hello DSNN family members, friends, and community supporters;
  I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to all of you. My name is Megan Fedeli and I am the new Programs Coordinator here at the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada. I am honored to become a part of this incredible organization with the goal of supporting all of our families residing in Northern Nevada. 
  I am currently a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno and will be graduating this May with my degree in Mathematical Statistics. Recently, I worked for The Home Depot as a Sales Associate for the last 4 years before deciding to actualize my goal of giving back to my community.
  I was born and raised in San Diego, CA and moved to Reno in 2014 with my family. I am a mother to four little angels; Joseph, Shaylee, Connor, and Blake. We enjoy making memories together on our adventures and travels. My family is my motivation to work hard every day, and I'm blessed to have such a strong support system in my life.
 I look forward to meeting all of you at our events, and encourage you to contact me with any feedback or suggestions that you may have for us. We will strive to continue to build on the exceptional foundation that previous staff have set, but can only do so with the help and input from our members and supporters here at the DSNNN. 
 Thank you to those who have welcomed me thus far, and I'm excited to meet the rest of you in the near future. It's going to be an amazing 2017!


"My name is Savannah Schauer, a new intern with the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada through the Pack Internship Grant Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. Currently, I am in my sophomore year of college with a major in Biology and a minor in Business Administration. I will be focused on the organizational aspect of the company and putting time into the events and getting to know the members! I look forward to being involved with the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada!"

"My name is Macy Santos. I am currently an undergraduate senior at the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in Community Health Science in the hopes of becoming a nurse in the future. As someone who is very close to the disability community, I take every opportunity offered to me and give it my all. With that, I am proud to work for the DSNNN and I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish this year!" 

"My name is Delaney Feest. I am a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, and will be graduating in May with my BS in Human Development and Family Studies. I am very excited to be interning with the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada. I look forward to gaining experience and knowledge on raising awareness for individuals with Down syndrome and their families."

"Hi, my name is Monica Udahl and I am one of the Pack Interns this year!  I am a junior at the University of Nevada, Reno, pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Community Health Sciences with a focus on Kinesiology and a minor in Developmental Disabilities. I am very excited to be working with the DSNNN team to expand our organization and to work closely with our families in order to build a DSNNN that meets the needs of our community!"

(Photo not included)

"I am Alicia Marie Sears, a fourth-year student at the University of
Nevada, Reno who is earning her Bachelor's of Science degree with an
emphasis in Public Health. My focus will be on First Call and the Medical Outreach Program at the DSNNN, while also creating an informational pamphlet for the organization."  

Past Events

Our last Sibshop took us on a journey through Renown Medical Center, where the kids got an opportunity to look behind the scenes of this incredible facility. They had a chance to observe how the lab worked, checked out the radiology department, toured the Emergency Rooms , and explored the Helipad on top of the hospital.
The experience was educational and fun for all the kids and adults. We hope to see your kids at the next Sibshop for an opportunity to interact with their peers while having a good time!

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