New Parent Support Volunteers Trained
On May 12, 2008, the Heartland Down Syndrome Association hosted training for New Parent Support Volunteers. Training was provided by Christy Klaus and Linda Orso of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis, of which the HDSA is a community group. Seven members of HDSA participated in training to prepare them to serve as volunteers offering support to new parents who have a child with Down syndrome. New parents who request support are matched by DSAGSL's Parent Support Coodinator with a volunteer who can provide support during the initial period of adjustment and grief that many parents go through following the birth of a child with this relatively common developmental disability. In addition, new parents receive a packet of useful resource materials designed to provide information related to special needs and also to highlight the positive aspects of raising a child with Down syndrome. Those trained and registering as volunteers are: Cris Byrd, Windy and Derrick Carlton, Theresa Essner, Tamilla House, Sandy Miller, and Claire Watson. Also attending the training as guests of HDSA were nurses from the Bureau of Special Healthcare Needs and service coordinators from the First Steps program, which provides early intervention services to children with a variety of special needs.