JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For above 30 many years, the Down Syndrome Affiliation of Jacksonville has been the only agency in the northeast Florida and southeast Georgia space that assists households of these with Down syndrome. Their help begins from prenatal diagnosis and continues by early intervention, the faculty-aged several years, and all through adulthood.
This 12 months, they were chosen by the Jacksonville Automobile Sellers Association as that group’s charity of the year. JADA has donated in excess of $2,200,000 to neighborhood charities and local community provider packages in the Jacksonville space. This 12 months, $10,000 went to DSAJ.
Down syndrome occurs in a single out of every single 700 births in accordance to the Centers for Illness Manage.
Mikan Crittenden has viewed how a lot the Down Syndrome Affiliation of Jacksonville has helped her little one, Brooklyn.
“She was positive for Trisomy 21 and then we were connected with the DSAJ following she went to a specialist,” Crittenden reported.
The Crittenden’s credit history the Down Syndrome Affiliation of Jacksonville for helping them get sufficiently modified to their new usual.
“First of all, our social lifestyle has doubled. We have developed so several buddies via the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville. Via small occasions just for her age and via bigger occasions like the Buddy Wander and issues like that. And we have been in a position to fulfill a lot of other mothers and people who are in comparable stages of their journey,” she stated.
“We goal for inclusion,” explained Debbie Revels, DSAJ’s Govt Director. “We want our people and our beautiful persons with down syndrome to be integrated in the group, for them to be regarded for the gifts and skills that they have, and to have the exact prospects as you and I have.”
Revels claimed in addition to transforming Down syndrome stigmas by developing additional inclusive communities. The firm also backs its households monetarily.
“We aid provide occupational remedy, bodily treatment, speech therapy, and so a lot, a great deal a lot more than that. Therapies are extremely costly, from time to time small children need this throughout their full life span. So, we have a scholarship for just about every household, so we support spend for these therapies,” Revels mentioned.
Crittenden has noticed that assist firsthand.
“She is in bodily treatment, occupational remedy, and speech remedy. She’s accomplishing excellent in all of those parts and the DSAJ aids supports that as effectively. They’ve been genuinely supportive in getting us linked with the right therapists and some monetary assistance as very well,” Crittenden told Information4JAX reporter Lena Pringle.
From economical, actual physical, and emotional assist, DSAJ aims to proactively assistance little ones with down syndrome prosper into adulthood through a sequence of academic, sporting activities, and trade systems.
“They complete high school, that want to be like us. They want to get a job, so we’re featuring individuals aid and schooling that they need. We’re out in the neighborhood knocking on organizations that are extremely eager to seek the services of our individuals,” Revels stated.
Child Brooklyn is now 16 months, and her household is fired up to be on this journey and seem towards the long term with hope thanks to DSAJ.
“They have been this kind of a enormous assist for me and aiding me recognize how down syndrome can be this kind of a positive aspect of our existence. It doesn’t have to eat our entire lifestyle but it is part of our everyday living. Their methods are there for us when we’re completely ready for them and as we’re all set for them. I would adore to see her just be portion of a neighborhood that enjoys and respects and adores who she is as a total particular person,” Crittenden mentioned.
As the DSAJ embarks on calendar year 34 of its mission, it hopes to continue to impression and positively reshape Down syndrome communities across the River Town. 1 family at a time.
“The greatest is nevertheless to come,” explained Revels. “And with the aid of the community, we have so much far more we want to do. Inclusion is that. We want to be included in the school procedure. We want to be bundled in the community, incorporated in the workplace. So just embrace our mission and vision and we will carry on to increase.”
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