Find a Support Group
Whether you’re a new or expectant parent, a family of color, father or grandparent of someone with Down syndrome, if you’re looking to connect with others in your shoes, MDSC and our dozens of local support group partners around the state can help. Read below for information about our annual Support Group Leader Retreat.
Arlington Down Syndrome Parents
North Quabbin Up Syndrome Social Group
Informal get-togethers for families of all ages with a loved one with Down syndrome including caregivers, grandparents and siblings
Brockton EI/BAMSI support group
Monthly Tuesday evening meetings; both informal get-togethers as well as outside speakers; children welcome at the informal meetings.
A group for folks on the Cape who have kids with Ds and other genetic and developmental quirks to get together, share information, have play dates and dinners, make plans and more!
Central MA Family Group
Meets every other month on a Saturday morning; families with school-age children or a prenatal diagnosis; all family members welcome.
Facebook page | 2021 Schedule
Down Syndrome Support Group
Meets monthly on the first Saturday of the month from 10 AM – noon.
T21 Travelers Network Facebook Group
Private secret Facebook group supporting families of younger children with Down syndrome. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and/or to be added to the group.
Family connections and resources on MV and host a variety of events
Somerville Down Syndrome Family Engagement Group
Lianor da Cunha Hillerstrom
A nonprofit family and support group started by parents with the same interests in mind. Meets monthly through play dates, familiy activities, seminars and informational meetings.
South Shore Area
Braintree Support Group
Mom’s night out monthly; currently families have children 4-22.
South Shore Parents and Siblings of Adult Children with Special Needs
Host periodic dinner meetings to offer support and sharing.
South Shore Play Group
Quarterly playgroup at the Hanover YMCA for families of children 0-6 and their siblings.
Play Group for Families with Younger Children
The Down Syndrome Program Resource Group of Western MA invites families of younger children to come connect, share, learn and play. Meets every other month on a Saturday morning at Jericho in Holyoke.
MDSC New Family Socials
Meets every month on a Saturday morning; families with children up to age 4; all family members welcome.
MDSC 4-7 Play Group
For families whose child with Down syndrome is age 4-7 and siblings; Quarterly activities.
MDSC 8-12 Group
For families whose child with Down syndrome is age 8-12; Quarterly activities.
Autism Spectrum Disorder/Down Syndrome
Boston Children’s Hospital Speaker Series
Brothers & Sisters
Brothers & Sisters Programming (not a support group)
More information on Brothers & Sisters
Exclusive workshop track geared specifically for youth siblings of people with Down syndrome each March at MDSC’s Annual Conference.
Special Health Care Needs
Parents of Children with DS and Other Special Health Care Needs
Co-hosted with Boston Children’s Hospital Down Syndrome Program. Meets quarterly.
MDSC Mental Health Support Group, Resource Page
For parents and caregivers of teens and adults with Down syndrome and mental health challenges. Every other month meetings facilitated by Mary-Frances Garber, licensed genetic counselor. Workshops with guest speaker held 2-3 times per year.
Mosaic Down syndrome
African American/Black Families
Social events for Portuguese-speaking families in the Arlington area
Familia Up Down
Host a variety of events for Portuguese-speaking families in the greater Worcester area and across MA
Organizamos uma variedade de eventos para familias de lingua portuguesa na area da grande Worcester e em toda area de MA
Familias Latinas Unidas por el Sindrome de Down
Meets montly on the first Saturday of the month; all family members welcome; currently mostly families who have a teen or an adult.
Spanish Support Group for Families Whose Child is 10 or Younger
Co-hosted with the MGH Down Syndrome Program; monthly Zoom meeting.
Down Syndrome Society of Rhode Island
New Hampshire Down Syndrome Association
Maine Down Syndrome Network
Down Syndrome Association of Connecticut
Champlain Valley Down Syndrome Group
National Down Syndrome Congress
National Down Syndrome Society
Global Down Syndrome Foundation
We are proud to support the important work of two organizations through their affiliations with the MDSC- Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (D.A.D.S.) and the Down Syndome-Autism Connection (DSAC).
Massachusetts D.A.D.S., an affiliate of MDSC, is an organization of fathers of children with Down syndrome. D.A.D.S.’s mission is to assist and support each other and their families through fellowship and action.
Members come together at monthly meetings to share insights, stories, and experiences that are unique to fathers of children with Down syndrome. They invite expert speakers to discuss medical, educational, financial, social and many other challenges that affect their children’s lives.
D.A.D.S. objectives are:
- To create a network of fathers willing to develop a program based on the needs of the fathers themselves.
- To enhance a father’s knowledge and provide resources for engaging with children and individuals with Down syndrome.
- To enhance personal advocacy skills.
- To heighten a family’s ability to cope with the unique challenges of raising a child with Down syndrome.
- To provide a safe atmosphere of support where fathers can openly share.
For more information visit the Massachusetts D.A.D.S. website.
The Down Syndrome-Autism Connection™ is the only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to co-occurring Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder (DS-ASD) in the United States.
The Connection was founded in 2007 in Denver as a collaborative project by parents and professionals seeing a great need to reach out to families and individuals affected by DS-ASD. In 2011, they became their own non-profit organization. While they are headquartered in Colorado, they care deeply about your journey no matter where you live. In this age of accessible technology, they are able to support people from coast to coast, and even overseas. They are gathering a global community in support of those with DS-ASD.
Their mission is to provide education and support to individuals facing the unique challenges caused by co-occurring Down syndrome and autism.
Their goal is to ensure that families, teachers, and healthcare providers receive the education and support they need — with the ultimate goal being that children and adults with DS-ASD will receive the understanding, education, medical care and opportunities they so greatly deserve.
If you are a parent wondering if your child (or adult child) may be affected by autism spectrum disorder, they want you to know that you are not alone. If you are a professional wanting to learn more, they are here for you, too! Thank you for joining the DS-ASD community!
You can contact the DSAC by emailing email@example.com or visit the DSAC Facebook page.
DSAC became an affiliate of the MDSC in 2011, falling under our 501(c)3 non-profit status. “By joining forces together, the MDSC and DSAC will ensure that all families who have children with the dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism feel welcome and have access to the resources and supports they need.” said Maureen Gallagher, Executive Director of the MDSC.
Featured Image: The MDSC has begun bringing together more than two dozen leaders in the Down syndrome community from across the state for a Support Group Leader Retreat. The group shares experiences and strategizes how to advance our mutual goal of strengthening supports for people with the Down syndrome across the state.
MDSC is committed to ensuring that families and individuals with Down syndrome have the local supports and resources they need. Since 2014, we have brought together dozens leaders in the Down syndrome community from across the state for a two-day Support Group Leader Retreat.
Over the weekend, Support Group and Play Group Leaders gather to share experiences and strategize how to advance our mutual goals of strengthening supports for people with the Down syndrome and their families whatever their location, background or life circumstances.