DSWA is a 'parent-driven' organisation, formed by families looking for mutual support in 1986, with hundreds of member families today. Most Board members, all staff and a large number of volunteers are parents or other family members.
Over the years a wealth of knowledge has been accumulated, and continues to accumulate, through the experiences of families living with someone who has Down syndrome. This first-hand knowledge, which can be tapped in to by other families, is extremely valuable and not to be duplicated anywhere. This is the uniqueness of the 'parent-to-parent' support offered by Down Syndrome WA.
Below is a list of contacts in various areas, both country and metro. All are parents of children with Down syndrome who are happy to be local contacts for other parents in their area. Please also feel free to ring Cathy, Julie or Jackie at DSWA for information or support. Would you like to be a contact person for your area and meet with other families for a coffee morning from time to time? Let us know so we can put your number on the contact list and in the newsletter.
Mel and Matt Young 9581 4831
Nia Parker 9725 8216
Toni Hotchin 0408 020 345
Michelle Cassin 9964 1814 or 0408 944 636
Wendy Radford 9965 3900 or 0417 973 708
Jenny Tetlow 9844 1923
Chris and Neil Annison 9844 4617
Tammy Barrett 9941 2327 or 0428 593 093
Cas Pearson 08 9191 1414
PERTH HILLS AREA
Glenda Napier 9257 2503
Sue Strizek 9389 6472 or 0417 927 177
ARMADALE / KELMSCOTT
Tina and David Grant 9495 4435
Zoe Maxted 9472 6070 or 0408 801 702
BAYSWATER / MAYLANDS AREA
Sandii Brown 9371 7796 or 0403 325 603
support at key times:
Practical and emotional support can be provided from parent-to-parent at times of crisis and at key life stages. The following lists some of the support that is available.
More and more calls are being received from parents expecting a baby with Down syndrome. Many of these parents speak about the lack of support and of positive information available to them at the time of diagnosis. Support that the Association can offer in such circumstances is of immeasurable value to families and relevant information can help them put things in perspective. They can be put in touch with other parents who have experienced the same pre-natal diagnosis, parents who can understand their fears and concerns, who can share the story of their own journey and who can ensure that balanced information is passed on. Click here to go to our pre-natal diagnosis focus area.
When a baby has been diagnosed with Down syndrome parents often don't know where to go first. It is always reassuring to hear from someone who has been through the same experience. Some of the parent-to-parent services offered to families with a new baby include the Parent Helpline, the Hospital Visiting Program, the New Parent Support folder, new parent support and morning teas, and general networking with other new families. Networking can occur naturally at social gatherings and other events, or parents can be put in touch specifically with famiies who may live in the same area for example, or who have children of similar ages.
In early childhood
Support and information are always available to families at this crucial time. The Parent Helpline operates five days per week and the Family Support Worker is available two days per week to take calls in the Drop in Centre. The DSWA Newsletter is a very valuable resource to keep families informed about aspects of Down syndrome, to enable them to read about individuals with Down syndrome, to provide a forum for comments, for contributions, for queries and to let them know about coming events and opportunities. The Parent Library Collection has some up-to-date resources available for borrowing and our Librarian is very happy to take calls and assist parents find the information they need. Contacting a Local Contact can be helpful too. The informal online support group FORUM is an excellent way to keep in contact with other parents and to exchange information and ideas. Curly issues and questions needing more researched responses can be dealt with by staff monitoring the more formal part of the forum / DSWA noticeboard. From time to time workshops or informaiton nights are run by the Association and families are informed about these through the newsletter and website.
At times of transition