Parents of a child with Down syndrome experience the same joy and fulfillment as any other parents. And like other parents, they strive to do everything they can to ensure their child can live as independent a life as possible. While children with Down syndrome can often times perform many essential life skills, as adults the possibility of living even semi-independently without parental or adult supervision may or may not be plausible. Faced with this reality, along with extremely limited housing resources and differing family situations in the ever-growing adult Down syndrome population, aging parents can have limited options as to the care of their adult child(ren) should something happen and they can no longer be there for their loved one.
DSH was formed as a result of just such a personal realization. Our nonprofit organization was established to give parents of adults with Down syndrome a housing option in a loving, caring and safe community environment. We understand how special a child with Down syndrome truly is, and with this understanding we seek to meet the needs of the child, the parents and the family.
Being the parent(s) of a child with Down syndrome does come with some personal challenges as that child reaches adulthood. In saying this, we by no means are intending to shed a negative light on having a child with this or any disability. But the reality is that parents, in general, look to the future when their child or children will be out on their own, and mom and dad can enjoy their remaining years together experiencing the next level of life. Not so for the parent(s) of a child with Down syndrome. Even though the child has reached what would be considered an adult age, the son or daughter must remain somewhat dependent on the parent(s) for certain aspects of their-well being. And this means the freedom to enjoy vacations or even a simple night out are not feasible for the would-be emptynesters.
While DSH was formed as a housing safety net for parents of adults with Down syndrome, our unique community housing option can be utilized in another way. DSH affords parents the opportunity to let their child reach another level of independence and share with them in that joy, while also allowing parents to move forward together in their own lives with a freedom that is worry-free.