A white baby boy with Down syndrome with red hair looking at the camera and smiling.

Learn to Grow

Starting again in February 2023 for parents of babies with Down syndrome!

In partnership with Suzanne McKeever with The Speech Path, we offer a free 8-week series with information and resources to answer your questions about the 1st year of development. Each week, you will learn from professionals in speech & language, sensory, physical therapy, oral motor & feeding, fine motor development, physical therapy, behavior/social, and vision and hearing. This program is offered via zoom and is available to any member of VDSA!

For more information or to be notified when registration is open, contact Kim Owens at kowens@virginiadsa.org.

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Learning Program

Registration is open for the 2022-2023 Series

The 10th year of the Learning Program at DSAGR kicked off in September 2022 as a hybrid model.

Online Registration is closed but if you would still like to register, contact Kim Owens at kowens@virginiadsa.org to sign up.

The Learning Program is an educational program that serves as a platform for sharing literacy and math instructional strategies, resources and activities to improve academic outcomes for students with Down syndrome, equipping families with the knowledge and tools to work effectively at home and at school. Visit our calendar to learn more.

There will be a total of 8 sessions held on Saturdays between September 2022 and May 2022. 5 of these sessions are for parents only in a virtual format (October, January, April, May, and June). 3 of these sessions are in person and be for both parents and children to receive instruction (November, February, and March). In September, we had a Family Day to meet teachers, other families and enjoy a park day.

During the in-person sessions, parents will receive instructions in a separate parent only class.  Children will receive hands-on learning in a student class with centers that focus on literacy, math and fine motor/handwriting setting led by a qualified teacher and occupational therapist with volunteers to maintain a low teacher to student ratio. All in-person classes will be held at River Road Church Baptist in Richmond, VA. All the dates are below.

A preschool aged white girl with Down syndrome with brown hair standing in the grass, twirling in her dress with a coral skirt.

What level might be best for your child?

  • LP Level 1 (recommended ages PreK-1st grade or emerging readers)
  • LP Level 2 (recommended ages 2nd-3rd grade)
  • LP Level 3 (recommended ages 4th-6th grade) – will be offered depending on interest

Parent classes are taught by a local teacher using the Learning Program curriculum. Watch this sample video for a snapshot of what is covered in the parent learning classes – ABCs of Effective Reading Instruction. The in-person student classes are like the learning in this Learning Program video here!

Cost: The cost of the program is $195 (Scholarships Available).  The cost covers:

  • 8 parent learning sessions (Sept-June)
  • Student reading books for Fall and Spring
  • Math number line for each new participant
  • Resources related to literacy, math and more
  • Access to the LP Online resources
  • Access to a private LP Online Facebook page
Contact Kim
A young Black man with Down syndrome wearing glasses and a jacket, standing in front of a display of roses, smiling and looking at the camera.

Transition Boot Camp

For parents of children with Down syndrome ages 13 to 21.

Transition Boot Camp is for parents of children with Down syndrome ages 13 to 21. A series of sessions are designed to give parents the tools they need to get the most out of the middle and high school secondary transition process required by IDEA. A corresponding Teen Class will be designed from the I’m Determined curriculum to practice self-determination skills all in a fun learning environment!

If you are interested, please contact Kim at kowens@virginiadsa.org

Contact Kim


Learn  from professionals

We offer a variety of opportunities for parents to learn directly from professionals on different topics about raising and supporting a child and adult with Down syndrome. Educational speaker topics are offered in-person and through webinars throughout the year. Check the calendar for upcoming opportunities.

We have been hosting the Disability Education and Transition Conference since 2013 which serves over 400 educators and parents each year. Save the Date – Saturday February 4, 2023, for the in-person Education and Transition Conference at the Short Pump Hilton in Richmond, VA!

In 2022, VDSA partnered with the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia and the Down Syndrome Association of Hampton Roads to offer the first Virginia Down Syndrome speaker series. This conference series will be returning in 2024!

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A white woman kneeling behind her white toddler daughter with Down syndrome, holding her by her hips, smiling.

Parent Chats

Parent connections are very important, and we offer several chats for you to get connected to other parents on a variety of topics such as inclusion and feeding. Other support groups bring together parents and caregivers with similar journeys such as siblings of adults, dual diagnosis (DS Plus), grandparents and Spanish-speaking families.

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IEP Support

We know how important the Individualized Education Program (IEP) is to your child and their education.  We also know that the IEP process can be very overwhelming and full of unfamiliar rules and terms. We are here to help and offer IEP reviews for any family of a child with Down syndrome. Our team gives perspective unique to educating a child with Down syndrome. We will also, if needed, refer you to other resources such as the Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC), educational advocates and consultants and special education lawyers.

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A young white girl with Down syndrome with blonde hair in pigtails wearing glasses and a dress with ABC on the front smiling at the camera.

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What we do is only possible with the help of people just like you.