At the Chasing Hazel Foundation, we have a deep rooted investment and focus in the Down syndrome community at this time. Below is an overview of our areas of focus:
Facilitate Growth Through Play
We offer a playgroup session – “Off to College” Playgroup – to young families that have children with Down syndrome from ages 0-12. It’s a group where there is a focus on socialization for the children AND the parents. A place to form relationships while the children explore and learn in a child friendly environment, while being supervised and entertained by very capable student volunteers. We provide snacks and small meals to facilitate the sense of community and sharing. The play groups include the child with Down syndrome as well as any siblings in hopes of making it an integrated and inclusive environment. Providing ample opportunity for peer modelling which is known to aid in the development of children with Down syndrome.
Support & Care Packages for Families with Children with Down Syndrome who are Medically Fragile
Children with Down syndrome can be born with various medical issues that require surgery or intervention of some kind. This is a huge emotional and financial burden on the families involved. This typically takes them out of town for treatment or monitoring. Some of these medical concerns may include, heart defects (most common), bowel blockages, to some forms of cancer. Our goal is for each family to feel loved and supported. Our hope to allow families to focus on what is important in a challenging, stressful time and that is the well-being of their child not financial burdens.
Reach Out to Local Doctors
We will provide literature such as brochures, pamphlets, business cards and contact information for next steps for families after receiving a diagnosis or potential diagnosis of Down syndrome. Often times receiving a Down syndrome diagnosis can be a scary, lonely time. Doctors can sometimes be negative and hopeless. We hope to be able to open the discussion about the positive aspects of Down syndrome and provide doctors offices with literature to hand out to parents who may receive a prenatal or post natal diagnosis.
Community Outreach- World Down Syndrome Day Campaign
Rock Your Socks!!! March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day. A day we celebrate all that people with Down syndrome have to offer our communities and families. On this day we invite the community to come together and advocate, educate and spread the word about what Down syndrome actually IS by providing information that dispels myths and stereotypes and highlights the achievements of individuals with Down syndrome. We focus on INCLUSION and building a mutual understanding that DIFFERENCE is just that – different. An easy way to demonstrate our support is to wear funky, mismatched, crazy socks. On this day we make a commitment to move towards acceptance, inclusion and ultimately, increasing the quality of life for EVERYONE by increasing the compassion and understanding of ALL people with whom we share a community.