Down Syndrome Super Star #6 – The Village of the Blue Rose

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the DSAGSL is recognizing individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond for an individual with Down syndrome and/or the Down syndrome community.

We think the Village of the Blue Rose is the best example of high expectations for people with Down syndrome in the state of Missouri.

There are four young adults with Down syndrome living and working at the Village, and they are very happy and satisfied with their lives. The three ladies live in one home and the men live in another. They are responsible for menu planning, shopping, some cooking, laundry and house cleaning at their homes. Everyone works at least 20 hours per week at the Lodge Restaurant Bed and Breakfast, which is on 60 acres overlooking the Mississippi River, five miles north of Clarksville, Missouri. They also help in the Red Barn Antique and Gift Shop and the Flea Market Barn as needed.

The Village is closed on Monday and Tuesday, so that is when the residents do their shopping, banking, laundry, house cleaning and take care of personal business. They attend a local church in Louisiana on Sunday and participate in other community activities as they occur. They do Special Olympic sports in Troy with the Lincoln County Roadrunners and Hockey with Gateway Locomotives in St Louis, as well as downhill skiing with in Eureka.

The Village has been at the Clarksville location since 1997, the first residents came in 2000. They are funded by their Antique and Collectible Shop in Florissant along with fundraisers, donations and volunteers.  It is a great place for adults with Down syndrome to live fulfilling lives!

-Donna Ringling

Down Syndrome Super Star #5 – Dr. Wakefield

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the DSAGSL is recognizing individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond for an individual with Down syndrome and/or the Down syndrome community. Do you know an individual or group who fits this description? We want to congratulate them! Submit their name/contact info, a brief description and pictures to erin@dsagsl.org.

We started going to Dr. Wakefield seven years ago, when Olivia was 5 years old. The dentist office was not a place Olivia wanted to be. The first few visits were about Olivia getting used to the staff, equipment and procedures. Everyone was very patient.  Dr. Wakefield talked to Olivia and treated her with so much respect! She gained her trust and it wasn’t long before Olivia was going into the dentist office by herself while I waited in the waiting room!

-Christy Klaus, Family and Support Coordinator and parent to Olivia

 

Down Syndrome Super Star #4 – Ruth

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the DSAGSL is recognizing individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond for an individual with Down syndrome and/or the Down syndrome community. Do you know an individual or group who fits this description? We want to congratulate them! Submit their name/contact info, a brief description and pictures to erin@dsagsl.org.

Ruth is the leader of our 4-H Club, the Mt. Zion Country Clovers in Marion county.  Ruth has two girls in our club with Down syndrome, one being my daughter Megan. In addition to NEVER telling these girls that they cannot do something, she actually strongly encourages them be involved at all levels of participation. She has prompted them to show projects at the local and state fairs, give demonstrations in front of the club, county, and state fair level, attend camps, be camp counselors, hold club offices, etc. Currently, our new president of the club is a girl with Down syndrome. This past year, my daughter was song leader for the club. She supports these girls in any way that they need it and has never made them feel “different.” She is fun, engages all the children, is positive, and has done all this while working full-time and earning her masters degree. I am in awe of her energy alone. Ruth is a great example of a Down Syndrome Superstar!

-Karen Miller, parent of Megan


Down Syndrome Super Star #3 – Ms. B

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the DSAGSL is recognizing individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond for an individual with Down syndrome and/or the Down syndrome community. Do you know an individual or group who fits this description? We want to congratulate them! Submit their name/contact info, a brief description and pictures to erin@dsagsl.org.


This is “Ms. B” as Brian calls her. She is a teacher’s aide in my son’s Headstart classroom. I can not express how grateful we are to have her working with Brian. She goes so far above and beyond her duties in the classroom.  Ms. B even stays one day a week after school to give individualized extra instruction on skills Brian is working on in class and therapy. She went to the DSAGSL workshop in Cape Girardeau, and is planning on attending some seminars in St. Louis so she can further her education on Down Syndrome and help Brian maximize his potential.  The love and care she gives to Brian and our family is just amazing. We love and appreciate all of Brian’s teachers, but Ms. B has a special place in our hearts.

-Charlie Cox, parent to Brian

Bodies and Boundaries – by Linda Kronmiller

Linda Kronmiller is a parent of an individual with Down syndrome and leads the Bodies and Boundaries Workshop series.

Many years ago I attended a workshop about Social Stories.  It sounded like a great tool to use with my son Eric. I didn’t do anything with the information until several years later after meeting with a behavior therapist regarding some behaviors that Eric was exhibiting that needed to be addressed….right away!

Social Stories became a big part of our lives and they still are to this day!  Our very first experience using a social story was truly a miracle for Eric and our family!  We now have three binders chock full of stories that have helped Eric to learn appropriate behaviors.

The Bodies and Boundaries Workshop series will introduce you and your child/teen to this great tool in addition to some great visual supports to use with your child/teen.  There are four sessions where you will be creating a binder that addresses hygiene, public and private behaviors, appropriate touch and appropriate use of words.  The binder can be used daily or weekly in your home with your child/teen to reinforce appropriate behaviors when it comes to bodies and boundaries.  The binder is designed so that you can add additional information that may be very specific to your child/teen.  During the workshop you work directly with your child/teen creating the binder.  Persons who have already participated in the workshop really enjoyed it.

I hope to see you at the Bodies and Boundaries workshop!

Down Syndrome Super Star #2 – Ashley

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the DSAGSL is recognizing individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond for an individual with Down syndrome and/or the Down syndrome community. Do you know an individual or group who fits this description? We want to congratulate them! Submit their name/contact info, a brief description and pictures to erin@dsagsl.org.

“My daughter, Ashley, is not just an advocate for her daughter who has Down syndrome. She is active with organizations around Fresno, California. She is a wonderful mother.” -Scott Swartz

Down Syndrome Super Star #1 – Kirkwood KinderCare Staff

In honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, the DSAGSL is recognizing individuals or groups who have gone above and beyond for an individual with Down syndrome and/or the Down syndrome community. Do you know an individual or group who fits this description? We want to congratulate them! Submit their name/contact info, a brief description and pictures to erin@dsagsl.org.

I’d like to nominate the staff at Kirkwood Kindercare, for welcoming Will with open arms every time we go through the doors. He graduated and is at Lindbergh now, but from age 1-3 he attended Kindercare.

When I was looking for daycare, I was so dismayed by long wait lists. The only place I found with availability, wasn’t comfortable enrolling a child with Down syndrome. Needless to say, I was heartbroken.

The shining light was when Kindercare was, not only delighted to enroll him, but didn’t hesitate at all. His two-year-old classroom teachers were awesome with him, listened to his First Steps team, and loved him like he was theirs. Patience and understanding, with high expectations, is something we all want and that is what we found there. There is such a positive tone set at Kindercare, and they are always so flexible.

15 out of 25 of their staff walked at Step Up for Down Syndrome this year. Amazing!

I hope you consider the Kindercare in Kirkwood superstars, because I know Will does and so do we!

-JJ Gossrau, parent of Will

Being an Aunt – by Abeo Anwisye

Being an Aunt is the greatest thing on Earth. I like playing with my nieces and nephews. They are a lot of fun.

They love having me around them, too.  They are always showing me their toys.  I’m glad to have all my nieces and nephews around.

Recently, I became a new Aunt!

About Me – by Ethan Schroeder

Hi! I’m Ethan J. Schroder. I like doing this blog about myself. I like sports like baseball, basketball, and bowling. I also like to play video games on the PS3 system. I also like to play my drums and guitars. I like to hang out with my friends. My birthday is not until July 23. My favorite quote is, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

My grandfather Schroeder is in the hospital now because he has cancer, which is called Leukemia.  He is in my head and heart.

I am involved with the Pujols Family Foundation, too. I also have been involved with the St. Louis ARC. I am now 23 years old now.

I have a dog her name is Lucy D. Schroeder. I have a single mother that is involved with the St. Louis ARC, & the St. Luke’s Hospital.  She works at CTS – (Constructions of Technology site).

Since I am a student there, I get involved with UMSL’s events as well, like the Triton Take Off party. I also got into the MADCO internship. It is an on campus internship over at the Tou Hill Performing Arts.

Lastly, I have a new internship at the DSAGSL as well.

Gus’ Playground by Penny Long

Gus’ Playground is located in Wilmore Park in South city. The park is located near Hampton and Gravois along River Des Peres. It is a universally accessible playground meaning there is something for people of all abilities to do, even those in wheelchairs. Our Alderman picked Gus because of his special needs and to honor the family of a police officer who gave his time to public service in the city of St. Louis.  That person is Gus’ Papa Gabel who is retired from St. Louis City Police Department.

It is Gus’ playground and he will tell you so….”my playground”.  We actually visit there a couple times a week and last night he had a blast playing will all the other kids as an equal participant.  Awesome to see this happen before my very eyes!

Spiderman and Superman were at the grand opening in August!  Gus stood with Mayor Slay during his entire speech and is attending a dinner this coming weekend at Missouri Athletic Club for a fundraiser for Unlimited Play where we have been told he will be presenting Mayor Slay with an award.

Pulling the ribbon and being the first to run on the playground was super fun and exciting.  It appears that beside the swings, Gus’ favorite thing to do is hang upside down from the low monkey bars or go in fast circles on the carousel that was sponsored by Cardinals Care.

Soon there will be a sign with Gus’ picture from the grand opening and the words “Let’s Play!”