...education, support, and resources to individuals with Down syndrome...

About Us: Our Story

Our History

What is now known as the Down Syndrome Association of Houston (DSAH) was originally known as Parents of Mongoloids when it was incorporated in 1974. At the time, there was very little information about Down syndrome (Ds) and a few mothers decided that a group needed to be formed to provide support to families. The group’s mission then was to help educate parents and others about Ds. Soon after, the group was renamed Parents of Children with Down syndrome (PCDS) and began meeting at Texas Children’s Hospital.

As the organization began to grow, so did the understanding that education was the key to mainstreaming children. The founders would travel around the city visiting churches and schools to educate everyone they could about Ds. The group advocated for infant stimulation programs and early childhood development programs in the schools. When a new baby was born, the hospital would call one of the board members who would then visit with the family.

In 1991, PCDS was renamed the Down Syndrome Association of Houston. As the years went by and our membership grew, so did the need for programs directly benefiting individuals with Ds. By 2008 DSAH had partnered with Texas Children’s Hospital to open the Down Syndrome Clinic, a facility aimed at ensuring that all children with Ds are receiving the proper medical care and the necessary therapies, and opened a Down Syndrome Resource Center with the goal of continuing to expand our programs.

Over the years, programs have included parent support groups, music therapy, craft classes, summer camps and social outings. Currently, DSAH focuses on new parent support through its “Congratulations!” program, parent and community education through its Empowerment through Education workshop series, and community-based events

focused on inclusion and empowerment. DSAH also operates a day program for adults with Down syndrome within its resource center.

With over 1,200 members, 700 volunteers, and numerous community partners, DSAH is committed to building a society where individuals with Down syndrome are valued, included, and empowered to fulfill their personal goals and aspirations.

Mission

The mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Houston is to provide lifelong education, support, and resources to individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the communities they live within.

Vision

The Down Syndrome Association of Houston envisions a society where individuals with Down syndrome are valued, included, and empowered to fulfill their personal goals and aspirations.

Our Core Values

We carry out our responsibilities with the upmost level of honesty.
We strive to ensure that our resource center, events, and administrative processes are run with order.
We respect our stakeholders and the diversity of views they bring to our organization.
We embed positivity into all of our actions.
We aim to provide the highest level of resourcefulness to the individuals and families we serve.

Strategic Plan

The Down Syndrome Association of Houston’s three-year strategic plan (September 2019-Augist 2022) includes three goals.

Goal 1: DSAH will provide lifelong education, support, and resources to individuals with Ds, their families, and the communities they live in in order to increase the value with which those within the Greater Houston Area place on the lives of individuals with Ds. Increased value will be measured by achieving a 50% increase in participation of non-Ds related community members and organizations in activities that include those with DSAH members as equal stakeholders.

Goal 2: DSAH will provide lifelong education, support, and resources to individuals with Ds, their families, and the communities they live within in order to improve inclusion rates within school and community events for individuals with Ds by 33% over the next three years as measured by stakeholder participation rates in inclusive events.

Goal 3: DSAH will provide lifelong education, support, and resources to individuals with Ds, their families, and the communities they live within in order to empower individuals with Ds to fulfill their personal goals and aspirations. DSAH hopes to achieve 75% of stakeholder short-term, pre-support goals by the end of three years as measured by stakeholder feedback.

The Down Syndrome Association of Houston is a registered 501( c)3 nonprofit. Access our form 990 here.

Find us on Donor Houston.

Diversity and Inclusion Statement

Diversity and inclusion fuel our mission and vision, so be yourself at DSAH. After all, we are all more alike that different.