Welcome, Families of Teens and Adults!
Your role is crucial in the development of a full and meaningful life for your loved one. From adolescence to adulthood to aging, your job as parent or adult sibling may change, but you remain a vital member of your loved one’s team.
As you and your teen or adult family member go through the successes and challenges of life, know that the MDSC is here to support you through information and resources, programs and conferences, and connections to other families who understand where you are at.
The Transition Years
In today’s society, leaving high school to enter “the real world” is a daunting prospect for all teens or young adults, not least of which is people with Down syndrome. Successfully transitioning from school to adulthood requires thoughtful and deliberate advance planning, especially for people with disabilities and their families. Below you will find more information about transition planning, including the educational rights of your student, and how we at the MDSC support families during the transition years.
For further transition information and resources, please visit our Resource Library. Additionally, the MDSC’s Annual Conference and Educators Forum provide up to date, accurate information to educators and families of students with Down syndrome.
Know Your Rights:
Post-Secondary Opportunities and Employment
Adult Life and Aging
As you and your family member carve out a meaningful adult life, there will be many other transitions along the way. One of the greatest strengths of the MDSC community is our connection to one another. When you and your loved one need support- be it emotional, practical, or anything in between- please reach out to us. Together, we can meet life’s challenges and work towards giving our loved one’s with Down syndrome the life they deserve.
For further adult life and aging information and resources, please visit our Resource Library. Additionally, the MDSC’s Annual Conference and Adults & Aging Conference provide information and best practices for adults with Down syndrome and their families.
MDSC Programs for You
Teen & Young Adult Years
The transition years involve a tremendous amount of change. You start with a young teen and end with a young adult, and in those years experience a roller coaster of hormonal, social, educational, and life changes! To support families on this journey, the MDSC offers the Advocates in Motion (AIM) Program for transition-age youth with Down syndrome and their families.
In addition to monthly inclusive and interactive events for youth, ages 13 to 22, AIM hosts a monthly group for parents/caregivers of transition-age youth. AIM Parent Sessions are held once per month. These sessions provide an opportunity for parents/caregivers to develop a supportive network and also learn about a wide array of transition-related topics, including:
- transition from school to adult life
- post-secondary options
- special needs planning and more.
MDSC’s Your Next Star began as a public awareness campaign to open the eyes of employers in Massachusetts to the power of people with Down syndrome in the workforce, and help them find the qualified candidates they need. As Your Next Star has evolved, it has also become a program to support adults with Down syndrome in preparing for and securing their place in the working world.
Mental Health Concerns
Is your teen or adult struggling with mental health challenges? Please know you are not alone. The MDSC offers a support group for parents/caregivers of teens and adults with Down syndrome who also have a mental health diagnosis of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, etc. Meetings are held every other month and are facilitated by a licensed counselor. Learn more and view resources the group has compiled.