Family Support & Social Services with Anna Maki

Anna Maki, Director of Benefits Navigation at Bobby Dodd Institute, recently shared about family support and social services for the Down syndrome population in Georgia. See a recording of the presentation from the last Mom's Night held in early February. Contact Anna for any questions you may have that were not covered in the presentation.


DSAA, Gigi's Playhouse - Atlanta, and NDSC Condemn Statement Made by Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)

January 29, 2021, Roswell, GA – The Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta, Gigi's Playhouse Atlanta, and the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) strongly disagree with the decision of House Republicans to appoint Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) to the House Education and Labor Committee due to her history of conspiracy theories around school shootings and use of the word "retard” as a pejorative term. "The Down syndrome and disabilities communities are concerned that

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    To celebrate WDSD we are launching an online campaign in lieu of our annual gala event. Beginning March 1st we will feature community members on our social media outlets for 21 days and have various opportunities to win prizes. We are asking everyone who is able to donate $21 to DSAA in honor of World Down Syndrome Day to support our work and the families we serve. Will you support DSAA and consider a gift of $21

    Join the Celebration
    Send us a photo of your child or a video telling us how you celebrate WDSD and what DSAA has meant to you. Submissions will be featured on our social media pages in March during the $21 for 21 campaign. Learn more and submit here by February 28.


    DSAA is looking for Volunteers
    If you are interested in helping the DSAA grow, we could use you! Volunteer opportunities include:

    • Serve on a Buddy Walk committee - Buddy Walk is our largest fundraiser of the year!
    • Help with fundraising
    • Participate in our First Call program and be a resource to families with a new diagnosis
    • Create new parent welcome kits
    • Help plan education seminars for parents
    • Help a community networking group plan programs in the community
    • Use your business skills to help with our database, outreach, mailings and more

    Got an idea? Let's here it! Contact Sheryl Arno at [email protected].

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    Being part of a community with people like you is vital to creating a sense of belonging. That's why the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta holds and sponsors annual events on its own and in collaboration with organizations for our families and adult population. See below a list of events and click through to learn more:

    Atlanta Buddy Walk

    Family Holiday Party

    Adult Holiday Dance with the Marcus Jewish Community Center's Blonder Department for Special Needs

    Monthly Educational Sessions in Spanish with AHSDA (Asociación Hispana de Síndrome de Down en Atlanta)

    Monthly Moms Night Out

    Jerry's Habima Theatre 


    For a complete list and more information about any DSAA events, check our Calendar.

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    About Us



    The mission of DSAA is to guide Atlanta’s Down syndrome community by connecting families and self-advocates to the partners, programs, education and resources they need to thrive.


    DSAA's vision is to equip and ready individuals with Down syndrome for a world that is ready for them! 

    Core Values

    Community, Commitment, Collaboration, Connection, Creativity, Celebration


    Founded by a small group of parents in 1979, The Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta (DSAA) is a 501 (c)(3) Georgia non-profit organization dedicated to providing individuals with Down syndrome and their families life-long community connections.

    There was a need to provide support and information to families who had, or were expecting, babies with Down syndrome.  DSAA started working out of family's homes and having board meetings at kitchen tables across metro Atlanta.  In 1985, DSAA became a 501(c)(3) public charity.  Throughout the 1990’s, DSAA found itself growing in both numbers of families touched and in funding resources.  In 2008, we celebrated our 30th Anniversary at a Gala Banquet and Dance.  By 2008 DSAA was able to hire its first employees, an Executive Director and an Assistant Director.  

    Today, DSAA serves 800 families in 18 counties in the greater Metro-Atlanta area with its programs, services, resources, and activities for all age groups. It is the largest volunteer organization for those touched by Down syndrome in Georgia. DSAA is an affiliate of the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS), National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) and Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action (DSAIA). 

    What DSAA Does

    • Coordinates year-round parent education programs
    • Convenes conferences and events for parents, educators, and healthcare providers
    • Organizes social gatherings and events for member families
    • Distributes current information about Down syndrome to OB/GYN practices, pediatricians and hospitals in metro Atlanta.
    • Provides information and activities for educators working with students who have Down syndrome.
    • Oversees a community-based parent networking program, currently comprised of 14 area groups.
    • Serves as an umbrella organization for the Atlanta chapter of Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (D.A.D.S.), which provides fellowship and support to fathers of children with Down syndrome.
    • Leads the Asociación Hispana de Sindrome de Down en Atlanta (AHSDA) - DSAA’s Hispanic outreach and support program, which serves over 250 families and is one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind in the country.
    • Advocates for issues affecting persons with Down syndrome locally and nationally.
    • Orchestrates an annual Buddy Walk® each October to raise awareness and financial support.

    Click here for a copy of our IRS Tax Exempt status. 

    Click here for our 990.

    Click here for the DSAA Terms of Use and Privacy Policies.

    Click here for downloadable Fact Sheet

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    OT Corner

    Fun OT Activities To Do While At Home 


    Hanging Laundry


    sparkle bottle

    Sensory Bottles 

    • Sparkle Bottle
      • Supplies Needed
      • Empty water bottle 
      • Clear Elmer’s glue 
      • Room temperature water 
      • Regular glitter 
      • Hot glue gun 
      • Food coloring 
      • Directions:
      • Fill bottle ¾ of the way with water
      • Add glue, the more glue the better 
      • Add the glitter
      • Squeeze a few drops of food coloring in the water
      • Super glue or hot glue lid to bottle 
    • Search + Find Bottle 
      • Supplies Needed:
      • Empty dry water bottle
      • Dry Rice
      • Small items (beads, erasers, pom poms, toy animals)
      • Directions:
      • Add rice to an empty water bottle 
      • Add small items 
      • Hot glue lid to bottle 
      • Have child search for the items you put in bottle by shaking the bottle 
      • Make a list of the items inside and have child check them off as they find them

        Connection to OT: Helps with sensory visual seeking behaviors, works on following directions, visual motor skills when looking for items in the bottle 



    Penne Pasta Play

    • Make a necklace or bracelet by stringing penne pasta on thin string/thread 
    • String Penne on chopsticks, twigs from outside 
    • Stick straws or pipe cleaners into Styrofoam block (from old packaging) or hold them and thread the pasta through 
    • Push penne pasta into play dough or putty 
    • Stick straws in putty and thread the pasta onto the straws 

      Connection to OT: Works on concentration, attention, focus, finger strengthening, eye-hand coordination, visual motor integration and fine motor skills 


    pipe cleaners

    Fun with Pipe Cleaners 

    • Cut straws and thread pipe cleaner through them 
    • Push pipe cleaners through strainer; can also attempt to thread the pipe cleaner through more than one hole 
    • Write a number on a cup and parent make holes on top of cup. Have kiddo push the pipe cleaners through the holes 
    • For older kids working on writing, make the alphabet out of pipe cleaners. Kids can trace the pipe cleaners for sensory feedback with finger and then write the letter with pencil 
    • For younger kids, work on making shapes out of the pipe cleaners and trace with finger (parents can also make the shape and have kids trace with finger)
    • Thread beads on a pipe cleaner; count the beads, create and follow a pattern and use pincer grasp to pick up small beads

      Connection to OT: fine motor skills, pincer grasp, visual motor integration, attention and focus, eye hand coordination, counting, handwriting, following directions 


    More fun activities! Get creative with the ideas below: 

     ot ideas

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  • Upcoming events

    Monday, March 01, 2021 at 07:00 PM · $65.00 USD

    Virtual Couple's Retreat

    Thank you for your interest in the Online Couple's Retreat presented in collaboration with NDSC and Gigi's Playhouse Atlanta. The total cost for the 5-part series is $65 per couple. Please submit payment to confirm your participation.

    Detailed information and registration can be found here

    See all events