The start of a new school year is right around the corner.  Here are some resources you and your family may find helpful as you transition out of the summertime schedule and into a new school year routine.

Is your student ready for school? Tips for getting back into the swing of things.

  • Create before school/after school routines – use a checklist with pictures or words to help your child become as independent as possible in getting ready for school as well as after school. Use rewards for completing tasks to keep your child motivated. Here are a few examples of a visual schedule for a morning routine.  You can also watch the DSAGSL Visual Schedule Workshop here. You can check out for an affordable way to create visual schedules, or reach out to DSAGSL and we can help!
  • Let your child pick out some of the school supplies on the list and put them in his backpack.
  • Visit the classroom/school ahead of time. Show your child the important places and how to get there (locker, cafeteria, nurse, bathroom, gym).  
  • Introduce your child to his or her teachers and other important school personnel before school starts. If the school does an open house, check to see if you can go earlier in the day to avoid the big crowds and long lines.
  • Get the e-mail address of each team member to begin regular communication. With permission, take pictures of each teacher.
  • Keep the lines of communication open with e-mails, parent/teacher conferences and a Daily Communication Log. Challenges can be dealt with proactively and success can be celebrated!
  • Create a social story (using the pictures) about going back to school.  Use Word or try one of these Social Story Apps
  • Pull together a one-to-three-page overview of what teachers and service providers should know about your family structure, your child’s likes and dislikes, what sets her off and what calms her down. For younger students, consider using the All About Me
  • Have your child or help your child create something they can share about their summer (using pictures and/or words). Share this with your child’s team.
  • Check out these other great tips from com and visit for all of these links and more.

Concerned about Academics? Check out The Learning Program at Maren Fund!

Are re you wondering how to support your child’s reading and math skills this school year? Check out The Maren Fund’s Learning Program classes. LP classes are parent-focused, evidence-based and designed to help you teach your child how to read and understand math. They offer once a month classes for kids with Down syndrome starting at age 2.

They also offer Maren Prep classes for kids in middle and high school. They have a variety of Maren Prep classes that are social in nature but include the continuing development of academics. Continue to support your child’s academic development and build friendships at the same time!

Registration closes mid-August, so don’t delay in signing up!

At The Meren Fund, the philosophy is that finances should not be an issue so don’t let that stop you from checking us out. Have questions? Feel free to contact Julie Williams

Are you preparing for an IEP?

Review the Top Ten Parental Rights in Special Education

In Illinois – Family Matters Parent Training and Information Center:

Check out Missouri Parent Training and Information classes: MPACT Trainings

On August 28, 2021, the recording IEP law went into effect in Missouri. You MUST NOTIFY THE SCHOOL AT LEAST 24HRS IN ADVANCE and let them know you will be recording. This can be done with a very brief email or letter. Here is a template you can use. You can also see a YouTube video here about the new law.


Inclusion Through Innovation

Check out these apps from Dr. Sean Smith, specialist in instructive/assistive technology and his presentation- Teacher Preparation for Classrooms of Today and Tomorrow

Will your child be learning at home? 

NDSC Resources for Preparing Yourself, Your Family, and Your Home for Online Learning

Tips for Parents on Developing Homeschool Routines

Is a student with Down syndrome new to your child’s school or grade level?

Consider scheduling a presentation about Down syndrome at your child’s school.  Contact to learn more about our Community Ambassador presentations.


Do your child’s teachers, administrators or support personnel want (or need) to learn more about educating and including students with Down syndrome?

Send them to for several links to sites and PDF’s they can use to learn more about how to best educate and include a student with Down syndrome in their classroom.  They can also request an awareness packet for their school and/or a presentation geared toward educators.

Another great resource to share with teachers, therapists or support personnel is Supporting the Student with Down Syndrome in Your Classroom