National Volunteer Month 2022: Volunteers are Paramount in Helping us Change the Way the World Views Down Syndrome

April is National Volunteer Month! As an organization that is 99% volunteer-run, GiGi’s Playhouse is grateful for the opportunity this month offers to acknowledge and thank the countless volunteers who have helped us empower the Down syndrome community and promote global acceptance of our friends living with an extra chromosome. “Through her [Jill Rabin], my…

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Dear Autism

The following is a guest post Dear Autism, I saw you long before I acknowledged your existence. I witnessed you when Judah shook his Melissa and Doug duster and how he searched relentlessly for it every day. I skeptically enjoyed the way he mimicked all of his shows, suspecting that you were right around the…

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Your advocacy is making a difference!

The Down Syndrome Coalition, along with our colleagues from the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (DSDN), Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group-USA (DSMIG), International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association (IMDSA), and National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (NTG), and in partnership with our self-advocates and families, succeeded in removing discriminatory language from an important healthcare…

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To Fully Celebrate Diversity, We Must Understand Intersectionality

Intersectionality certainly turns the chessboard of diversity into one that is multi-dimensional. Without intersectionality, diversity becomes a singular layer where people of that category of equality are myopically fighting for their own piece of discriminatory turf. The basis for intersectionality is how various portions of an individual’s makeup can be discriminated against – with adverse…

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Barry Books and Cooks Inspiration at 60!

At 60 years of age, Barry Burris is the oldest participant at GiGi’s Playhouse in Fort Meyers, Florida. A few years ago, Barry decided to improve his literacy skills. He was a level two reader at the time and had not received any formal literacy instruction since high school. With help from GiGi’s Playhouse One-On-One…

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Happiness and Down syndrome

Many people have the misperception that individuals with Down syndrome are always happy. I have a few thoughts about happiness and Down syndrome. First, if you think this, then you’ve probably never interacted with a hormonal teenager with Down syndrome. Jade, like most people, experiences a broad range of emotions, including anger, sadness, annoyance, disappointment,…

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Sustainability against all odds

Whenever I read that quote, I get a flutter of excitement in my stomach and a sick feeling at that same time! Absence of fear?? It was the fear of watching 17 years of groundbreaking work crumble that propelled me to action throughout 2020 and catapulted us into 2021! When people were talking about binge-watching…

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