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Advocacy. Education. Awareness.

D.A.D.S.

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Dads Appreciating Down syndrome (D.A.D.S) is a community group within the DSA of Delaware composed of fathers of children who happen to have Down syndrome. We hesitate to call ourselves a “support group”, even though we do, in many ways, support each other.

We are a network of fathers willing to develop a program based on the needs of the men involved.  We try to increase a father’s knowledge and resources about children and individuals with Down syndrome. We also try to enhance personal advocacy skills while heightening a family’s ability to cope with the unique challenges of raising a child with Down syndrome.  D.A.D.S. provides a safe atmosphere of support where men can openly share, have fun, and build camaraderie and friendships among fathers.

Why D.A.D.S.?

dad1There are certain responsibilities that generally fall on the shoulders of the father. D.A.D.S. is a way for us fathers to help each other with those responsibilities. We do this using the three pillars that all D.A.D.S. groups are based upon, Support, Fellowship, and Action.

Support – Monthly meetings where we share insights and experiences. We also have a communication network via email and Facebook.

Fellowship – Events (dinner, parties, camping, etc.) design to enjoy ourselves as a group or with the family.

Action – Muscle at DSA events, fundraising for D.A.D.S. projects or the DSA of Delaware, Advocacy and political action (at the local, state and federal levels).

I have family and friends that support me. Why do I need D.A.D.S.?

joellYou do not need D.A.D.S. but we offer you something that you may not get from family and friends, and that is other fathers that know what you are going through because we have all been there.

Your colleagues at the office may not understand your excitement when your 5 yr old makes “poopie” on the toilet for the first time, but other D.A.D.S. will.

You may have a question about something and don’t want to ask your wife because she probably already told you hundreds or times. Come to the next D.A.D.S. meeting or shoot off an email to the list-serve and save yourself the embarrassment when your wife gives you that look for asking something she’s told you before.

Doesn’t the DSA of Delaware already do this stuff?

Yes and no. We are part of the DSA of Delaware and everything we do is something that the DSA of Delaware does but read below for specifics.

Monthly Meeting

hayride girl

D.A.D.S. monthly meetings are more informal, open discussion meetings designed for fathers. Our meetings are also a place for fathers to openly share their thoughts and questions among other men. Let’s face it men and women think and feel about things differently. The monthly meeting is a time where fathers get to be men.

Events

D.A.D.S. events are specifically designed to bring fathers together, bring fathers closer to our children (those with and without Down syndrome), or bring our whole family together closer. We do this by having events that cater to men’s interest like BBQs, fishing, camping, dinner out with the children, etc.

Muscle

Let’s face it most of us are already muscle at family events, so it is work we are use to.

Fundraising

As a community group within the DSA of Delaware we are expected to raise funds for initiatives that the D.A.D.S. group feels are important and aligned with the DSA of Delaware but may not be supported.

Advocacy and Political Action

D.A.D.S. group has decided to take a more active role in this area. Each monthly meeting we discuss what is the latest political issue that is affecting our families locally and nationally. Each year the national D.A.D.S. organization also sets a national issue for us fathers to rally behind.

You mentioned a National D.A.D.S. organization before. What is that?

DSA of Delaware D.A.D.S. is part of a larger D.A.D.S. organization that is international. There are currently 55 chapters in the USA, 2 in Canada, 1 in the U.K. and 1 in Australia.

Each D.A.D.S. chapter is independent and develops its own culture and programs.

We look to D.A.D.S. national for examples and strategies for program implementation. We also coordinate with D.A.D.S. national for a national advocacy and political action item. We are currently working on getting the ABLE Act passed through Congress.

When and Where are the DSA of Delaware D.A.D.S. meetings?

We have monthly meetings on the third Tuesday of the month at the Lone Star Steakhouse on South DuPont Highway (Routes 40/13) in New Castle at 6:30 PM.

Delaware D.A.D.S.
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To become part of our father only list-serve please contact Jason Lopez our Communications Dad at pez_shpe@yahoo.com for more information.