We formed the Down Syndrome Society of the Susquehanna Valley to promote Down Syndrome awareness in our community. Our son Eric was born with a surprise diagnosis of Down Syndrome and when we looked for community support to help us navigate through the first few months, we didn't find much. Everything from what Down Syndrome was and what changes it meant could only be found online or in a book. Personal contact with others was what we needed. To know that we weren't alone from people who have gone through this shock would have been very helpful.
Not everyone has the support of a loving family and church like we did. With their support and prayers, we got through and now we want to help others do the same. Eric had several other complications like most Down Syndrome kids do, and each one was a shock. We've been through heart complications that were minor compared to some, a week of chemotherapy at Geisinger Medical Center due to his blood disorder, bone marrow tests, and multiple blood transfusions.
Eric is now 7 years old and we have all the questions and issues all parents do when it comes to keeping their child safe and how school is going to go. Eric is in 1st grade at our local Elementary school is doing well. He is still mostly nonverbal which makes it very hard to know what he needs. With the help of his Speech Therapist and the School District Eric now has a tablet that works as his voice. With this he can ask questions, answer questions, and let us know what he wants!
If we can help others families with their questions & problems, then the DSSSV is a success!
We would welcome the opportunity to find local families and individuals who know someone with down syndrome. Bringing awareness of how awesome kids are with Down Syndrome and how they love to be included in EVERY event is also very important to us. If only we could all see the world the way they do, it would be a better place!
We can only exist through donations and fund raisers. If you would like to donate we would really appreciate it! All donations are tax deductible.