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Dual Diagnosis

Since 1998, NADS has provided a special service for families whose child with Down syndrome has an additional diagnosis, such as autism or ADHD.  This NADS group is called Down Syndrome and More. It is often difficult for families of children with a dual diagnosis to network with local support groups. Families dealing with a dual diagnosis often feel like they don’t fit in at the local Down syndrome support group. At the same time they don’t fit in at the local autism support group either. The daily struggles are unique, leaving many families feeling isolated.

The NADS group, Down Syndrome and More, is a place for families to discuss unique challenges and added stress, share resources, teaching strategies, and medical information, focusing on possible solutions along with humorous stories in a safe, non-judgmental environment. NADS offers a More Than Down Syndrome Retreat twice a year. At the Retreat, children are cared for by trained respite workers.  NADS ensures a minimum 1:1 ratio at minimum for maximum safety. Children spend time engaged in fun activities such as swimming, play and music therapy.  We offer this retreat for families who are under a great deal of stress to share and address issues of concern to them. During the retreat, experienced professionals tackle those issues and give practical strategies for coping with the communication and behavioral challenges of their child.

retreat_2The Retreat is held twice a year, accommodating a small group of NADS families. If you are a NADS member and your child with Down syndrome has been diagnosed with autism or ADHD, please contact NADS for more information about Down Syndrome and More.  

For more information about Down Syndrome and autism, please see our Down Syndrome and Autism resources page.

 “The More than Down Syndrome Retreat is fuel for my year. We share our joys, frustrations and uncertainties together. I am reminded that we are not alone in our struggles with raising Kenny and a dual diagnosis. We have learned so much with the support and education at the retreats since Kenny’s diagnosis of autism over 11 years ago.”Shelly C.