About Us

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RIO GRANDE DOWN SYNDROME NETWORK

Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower individuals with Down syndrome and their families through advocacy, education and support. We are a collaborative network which seeks to create awareness, assure inclusion, and promote independence in individuals with Down syndrome.

What is Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition. Individuals with Down syndrome have an extra, critical portion of the number 21 chromosome present in all, or some, of their cells. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.

It is estimated that one in every 691 live births will result in a child with Down syndrome, representing approximately 6,000 births per year in the United States. There are approximately 400,000 individuals with Down syndrome in the United States today.

There is a wide variation in the abilities, physical development and behavior of individuals with Down syndrome. Each individual has their own unique personality, capabilities and talents. One should always use “people-first” language. For example: a newborn is a baby with Down syndrome, not a Down’s baby.

With appropriate education, therapy, social support and opportunity, the majority of individuals with Down syndrome will lead fulfilling and productive lives.

(Adapted from the NDSS page “What is Down syndrome?“)

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Our Mission

The Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower individuals with Down syndrome and their families through advocacy, education and support. We are a collaborative network which seeks to create awareness, assure inclusion, and promote independence in individuals with Down syndrome.

Our History

The Rio Grande Down Syndrome Network (RGDSN) was formed by a group of parents and families with children who have Down syndrome. Since incorporating as a non-profit organization in 2009, members have come together to provide information, support, and activities for one another. The Network currently hosts spring, summer and fall programs, networking events, fundraisers, and mom and dad outings. We also help provide resources and connect members to medical and educational entities.

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Our Future

RGDSN’s Board of Directors would like to increase educational opportunities for our members, update our printed material to improve our communication with members who do not have internet access and strengthen relationships with partnering organizations like the Arc of NM, Parents Reaching Out and NM Special Olympics. Our long-term goals include an Executive Director and dedicated staff, increased activity on a statewide level and life skills programs for adults with Down syndrome.

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