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Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan provides support, resources for children with Down syndrome and their families

This week’s episode of NPO Showcase features the Early Stages program of the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM).

About NPO Showcase

NPO Showcase highlights nonprofit and government organizations and the work that they're doing in our community. The program is a feature of GRTV, a service of the Community Media Center, with producer and host Julie Way. You can catch it on GRTV on Saturdays at 8 AM and 6 PM and can view past episodes on Grand Rapids Community Media Center website. If your nonprofit would like to be interviewed on NPO Showcase, please contact Julie Way.

April Sawhill and Lindsey Kloeckner on GRTV's NPO Showcase

April Sawhill and Lindsey Kloeckner on GRTV's NPO Showcase /GRTV

In this week’s segment of GRTV’s NPO Showcase, April Sawhill, Executive Director, and Lindsey Kloeckner, Parent Member, discuss the resources available through the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM), the Early Stages program that supports children with Down syndrome from the time of diagnosis through age five, and how the program has impacted Lindsey’s family.

Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome, and is the most commonly occurring chromosomal abnormality. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. However, these effects are usually mild to moderate, and are not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.

DSAWM was formed in 1985 by six families who had children with Down syndrome and wanted to share knowledge and support each other. Today, the organization encompasses advocacy, public awareness, and support of lifelong opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Watch the NPO Showcase segment to hear Lindsey’s personal story of how the DSAWM and the early Stages program have supported her family and to learn more about the work of the organization. You can also learn about volunteer opportunities and donate on their website.

Check back next Wednesday for a new segment of GRTV’s NPO Showcase, featuring the American Diabetes Association.

NPO Showcase is just one of the many ways that the Community Media Center serves the nonprofit community. For information about this and other CMC services for nonprofits, or to schedule a future interview, contact Nonprofit Outreach Coordinator, Julie Way, at 616-459-4788 x115 or email [email protected].

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