Bringing you important info about topics that matter.

The DSAGSL will bring you a recap of what you might have missed in previous weeks as well as additional information about other important topics. If you would like more information about a particular issure featured in this edition, contact Erin at

Upcoming Events/Programs you don't want to miss:

There is still time to register and join the DSAGSL and the Pujols Wellness Center for our FUN and FREE annual picnic. Activities will include music, bounce houses, face painting, games and crafts! There will be an area for new parents to connect with each other, as well as an area for siblings to connect! Lunch will be provided. Bring lawn chairs, blankets and any outside games for an afternoon of fun! Please RSVP to the DSAGSL Office at 314.961.2504.

giveSTLday is a way to donate local and support the DSAGSL through a giving campaign in celebration of St. Louis Community Foundation's anniversary. If you want to know more or have some questions check out the website or RULES/FAQ's here. Lastly, support the DSAGSL and DONATE HERE anytime 12am - 12am on Tuesday, May 6.

  Topic for May Coffee Talk
  Tuesday, May 20
  6 - 7pm at the DSAGSL Office

The DSAGSL and Pujols Wellness Center for Adults with Down
  Syndrome will bring you, "Care of Self/Care of Others." Whether
  you're a parent, family member or a professional, caring for others
  and yourself can be a challenge.Join the DSAGSL to learn stress management tools and important strategies so you can be your best YOU! For more information about this unique workshop, contact Erin at

This Month's Topic - DS and Autism Dual Diagnosis

Coffee Talk - Down Syndrome and Autism Dual Diagnosis
On Tuesday, April 15th, Dr. John Hartweger and Mary Hart, Board members and parents, as well as Jennifer Haughey of Easter Seals Midwest, joined us for Coffee Talk at the DSAGSL Office. They presented to parents and caregivers about the signs of and strategies for a dual Down syndrome/Autism diagnosis. Below are some key points from their discussion. You can also find the information archived at the DSAGSL website and on our dual diagnosis resource page.

  1. Approximately 1 in 10 children with Down syndrome will also be diagnosed with Autism.

  2. In 2007, the AAP recommended routine screening of patients with Ds for ASD at 18-30 months.

  3. Obstacles to diagnosis included undertrained health professionals, parents inability to recognize ASD characteristics, diagnostic overshadowing (Ds interferes with detection), and diagnostic limitations.

  4. There are two groups of individuals with dual diagnosis: those who develop atypical behaviors early in life and those who are older and experience a loss in their acquisition and use of language and social-attending skills between 3-7 years old.

  5. Treat Autism as the primary diagnosis. Your child will receive more services and therapies in school and through the health care system. Autism will likely present more challenging behaviors to manage than Down syndrome.

  6. The most commonly described areas of concern with ASD are communication, social skills and repetitive body movements or behavior patterns.

  7. Individuals with a dual diagnosis frequently show more interest in objects than people, develop fixations on particular routines, and show difficulty with unexpected changes in routines.

  8. Therapies should focus on social skills, behaviors, speech and language.

  9. It is important to prepare a “medical resume” outlining personal information as well as diagnoses, medications, allergies, doctors’ information, lab/test results, dental work, blood tests, eye and ear screenings, immunizations, etc.

  10. Parents with a child with a dual diagnosis may feel socially isolated from other families with children who have Down syndrome; however, there are additional supports and groups to be involved with as well.

Check out These Books
There are a limited number of books on this topic to date, but you are welcome to check out the following from our library! You can browse our entire lending library by visiting, by clicking here and entering library name DSAGSL (no password necessary).

We have one book on this topic:

When Down Syndrome and Autism Intersect: A Guide for Parents and Professionals. Edited by Margaret Froehlke and Robin Zaborek. (2013)

Additional Resources
Finally, the DSAGSL attempts to offer as much information online for parents and caregivers across our region. You can visit the resource section of the DSAGSL website for access to information on many topics including planning!

If you have specific questions or concerns about your child’s behavior, feel free to contact our office at 314.961.2504 or join our private Facebook group “DSAGSL Sharing Our Strategies.”

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Upcoming Events

Visit our calendar online for events from us, our community groups, third party fundraisers along with Pujols Family Foundation, Albert Pujols Wellness Center at St. Luke's and DADS St. Louis!

Save the Date!

Bike Camp - June 2-6
Step Up for Down Syndrome-June 8
Family Movie Night - June 27
Birdies and Bass - July 14
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