The Importance of Yoga for Individuals with Down syndrome Across all Ages

PRESENTER: Angela Rodriquez – Trainer & Health Coach BS Kinesiology

DESCRIPTION: Learn what is yoga and what are the positive effects a yoga practice can have on the entire body. Learn how to incorporate yoga into your child’s life as early as birth and across all ages. Learn the importance of an how to add regular yoga practice into YOUR life as a parent/professional to an individual with Down syndrome.

What You (and your family) Need to Know About “A BETTER LIFE EXPERIENCE” – ABLE!

PRESENTER: JJ Hanley, Director Illinois ABLE for State Treasurer Michael Frerichs


Illinois ABLE accounts encourage employment, foster person-centered independence, improve self-reliance and improve quality of life for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. So, you need to understand how ABLE works. This presentation is for all ages and will teach self-advocates, parents and supporters everything they need to know about ABLE and how it can impact your family, your work and your life.
Topics covered will include:
• Why ABLE?
• What can I use my ABLE account for?
• What will ABLE do to my SSI, SSDI and Medicaid Benefits?
• What challenges are there to ABLE?
• How do I open an IL ABLE account?
• What’s going on with legislation in Illinois and in Washington?



Navigating Nutritional Concerns Through Infancy and Toddlerhood

PRESENTER: Amy Manojlovski/Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist/ Early Intervention Provider and Private Practice

DESCRIPTION: Participants will learn about nutritional concerns that may arise in the 0 to 3 year old population including obtaining adequate nutrition when there are feeding difficulties, constipation, and poor weight gain. Strategies will be discussed on how to help manage these concerns with a focus on children with Down Syndrome.

Physical Therapy for Adolescents thru Adults with Down syndrome

PRESENTER: Patricia Shimanek PT, DPT and Andrea Gadson PT, MPT

DESCRIPTION: Physical Therapy thru the years is important in the Down syndrome world due to their individual physical and medical issues as well as their learning needs. Physical therapists can help Parents, self-advocates and caregivers keep people with Down syndrome in better health as they live longer lives. Included in this discussion will be proper shoe wear and orthotics relating to a person with Down syndrome.


PT for adolescents thru adults with DS

Understanding and Improving Behavior- A Sensible Approach


DESCRIPTION: The presentation will cover ways to view behavior and effective methods of changing behavior. It will challenge some commonly held beliefs and practices. The content is appropriate for any age group. It will be relevant for parents, school personnel and professionals working in other settings.


Gould Handout

The DS Biobank: Accelerating the Advancement of Research

PRESENTER: Lito Ramirez, CEO, Down Syndrome Achieves

DESCRIPTION: People with Down syndrome (DS) are significantly at risk for severe congenital heart defects, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, epilepsy, autism, autoimmune disease, and many other health conditions that can impact quality of life. Down Syndrome Achieves is championing the development of the first centralized and dedicated biobank for Down syndrome research in the United States. Researchers will have access to a critical resource, bio specimens, to help them to accelerate breakthrough research and therapies for people with DS, using non-invasive techniques.
The DS Biobank is a repository of biospecimens from individuals with Down syndrome and their immediate families. Biospecimens, that are stored as blood, plasma, DNA and RNA, provide researchers with a bank of samples from actual patients that can be used in many areas of research. Samples used in bench top research lay the groundwork for translational science to occur and change healthcare treatments and outcomes for individuals with Down Syndrome and other diagnosis. The DS Biobank constitutes a powerful resource for biomedical researchers to vastly improve the standard of care for health conditions known to co-occur with Down syndrome.


DS Biobank Pres 08112018

Special Needs Legal and Future Planning

PRESENTER: Brian Rubin – Attorney and Parent – Rubin Law, A Professional Corporation

DESCRIPTION: This presentation will include an overview of the following: 1. Government benefits (SSI, SSDI, Medicare, Medicaid) 2. Special needs trusts and typical mistakes attorneys make in drafting them 3. ABLE Accounts, the who, when, why, where and how… 4. Special needs provisions in parents’ Wills and Trusts 5. Planning for divorced parents 6. Guardianship and Alternatives 7.PUNS, Ligas, and planning for when the “bus stops coming”


Ensuring Healthy Relationships for Individuals with Down Syndrome

PRESENTER: Katie Frank, PhD, OTR/L

DESCRIPTION: Are you interested in learning the skills to support your loved one with Down syndrome develop the skills necessary for developing and maintaining healthy relationships? This workshop will discuss why it is important to teach sexuality education, what topics should be addressed, and how to talk about them. Resources will also be shared including visual supports in addition to books and free online resources.



Stages of Reading Development

PRESENTER: Dr. Jacqueline Brito, Literacy Coach, Children’s Literacy Initiative

DESCRIPTION: Learn how to support children as they go through the stages of reading development in pre-k to 3rd grade. Understand how the elements of literacy are all intertwined into the world of reading. Gain strategies and best practices on how you can support your reader at home.


What Happens When The Bus Stops Coming?

PRESENTER: Mary Anne Ehlert, President & Founder of Protected Tomorrows Inc.

DESCRIPTION: This presentation will be uplifting, interactive and educational, as well as provide a good basic understanding of some important facts. Whether you plan on your child staying in school or moving on to a day program, 2-4 year college, work program, you need to know what is out there. Topics of discussion include: Education, IEP’s, Employment, Day programs, and building a lifelong support network.

Transitioning Your Baby to Solids Using the Baby-Led Weaning Approach

PRESENTER: Jill Rabin – Pediatric Speech Pathologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant – New Mother New Baby and Private Practice

DESCRIPTION: Participants will learn how to safely and effectively transition their babies to solid food feedings using a child-directed feeding approach. This session will explain the impact of this approach on babies with Down syndrome, in respect to health and overall development. Methods on how to implement this approach will be taught with accompanying videos. This will focus on babies under one year of age.


Transitioning Your Baby to Solids Using the BLW Approach

Sibling Support

PRESENTER: Amy Halm, LCSW, Sibling Leadership Network (SLN) & Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters (S.I.B.S) and Emily Bryan, Arc of Illinois Board Member

DESCRIPTION: Siblings relationships are important. Brothers and sisters often have the longest relationships of their lives with each other. Sisters Emily and Amy will talk about their own sibling experiences (happy, sad, funny, and unexpected.) They will also share information about resources, needs, and supports for siblings throughout the life span.

DRS Transition Services: Who, What, When and Where

PRESENTER: Carlitta Tucker-Powell/Rehabilitation Counselor/Illinois Department of Human Services Division of Rehabilitation

DESCRIPTION:This session will be an overview of the transition services that are provided through local schools in collaboration with IDHS/DRS. We will discuss the process from the beginning of referral; what happens after it is submitted and what does it all really mean. This is for transition age students 14-22 years old.


DRS presentation

Physical Therapy Considerations for Children with Down syndrome

PRESENTER: Joanna McFaul, PT, DPT, PCS/ Physical Therapist/ Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge (Lutheran General)

DESCRIPTION: Children with Down syndrome can experience gross motor differences and challenges during their youth for various reasons.  This session will provide a scientific understanding of the differences and therapeutic strategies that can improve children’s participation at home, in school and in the community.


Down syndrome Physical Therapy Considerations in pediatrics NADS conference

DADS – Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome – Men Only

PRESENTER: Tom Delaney – Chicago DADS Chapter

DESCRIPTION: DADS (Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome) Chicagoland Chapter: Come see what DADS is doing in your community. Our mission is simple, but our impact is profound. We build camaderie and help create genuine friendships between fathers and families of children with Down syndrome. MEN ONLY PLEASE.


Delaney – NADS Conference 2018 DADS Presentation

Navigating Mental Health Services for Your Special Needs Child

PRESENTERS: Kara Olimene LCSW, MBA Marjorie Metcalf, LCSW (bilingual social worker)- Olimene Counseling Services, Inc

DESCRIPTION: Accessing various mental health services can be difficult. Children with Down Syndrome and children who are dual diagnosis with Autism Spectrum/Down Syndrome have may individualized needs. There is no single textbook answer. We will offer feedback and suggestions regarding various targeted behaviors and symptoms and how/when to figure out how to meet those needs for your child.

Treatment Strategies for Children with Autism

PRESENTER: Mallory Gulling, MA, BCBA

DESCRIPTION: When a parent receives a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder, they can feel overwhelmed with how to manage behaviors and ensure their child is able to get beneficial services. This seminar will address treatment/therapy options to help a parent manage and address concerns that impact daily functioning. Parents will receive information on what ABA therapy is and how to access it.

A Myofunctional Approach To Speech and Feeding Therapy: Success for Your Child

PRESENTER: Michelle N. Zeglin, MA CCC-SLP – President of Simply Communication

DESCRIPTION: Learn what myofunctional therapy is and how it may fit into your child’s therapeutic needs. Understand how a myofunctional therapist often works in conjunction with a dentist, orthodontist, ENT, periodontist, bodywork specialist, or lactation consultant to address the neuromuscular re-education or re-patterning of the oral and facial muscles. Be introduced to how therapeutic exercises can be used to target strengthening, behavior modification, dissociation, and grading of the facial muscles and tongue which promote proper tongue position, and improve breathing, chewing, swallowing, and articulation.



Promoting Health for and with Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome

PRESENTER: Brian Chicoine, MD

DESCRIPTION: Living longer and healthier lives is an active process. Adolescents and adults with Down syndrome can and should be encouraged to participate in their own health promotion. This workshop will address health promotion at home as well as in the health provider’s office. Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences that have had a positive effect on health promotion.


Physical and Mental Health Concerns in Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome

PRESENTER: Brian Chicoine, MD

DESCRIPTION: Adolescents and adults with Down syndrome can experience a variety of physical and mental health problems. This workshop will focus on those that are more common or have unique (or different) presentations in adolescents and adults with Down syndrome.


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