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Programs and Support for Down Syndrome

There are wonderful support programs and activities for families with children or loved ones with Down syndrome in and around the Greater Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. If you would like more info, please follow the links below, or if have any questions, please contact us at 615.386.9002.

Support for Families
Educational Programs
For Professionals


Next Chapter Book Club

Membership: Individuals with Down syndrome or other intellectual or developmental disabilities
Meetings: Weekly on Tuesdays, 7-8pm
Location: Nashville, Target Cafe on Whitebridge Road
Cost: Free
Contact: DSAMT, Beth Simmerman,

Next Chapter Book Club is a weekly book club meeting for people with Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities. The group meets at the cafe inside an area Target to read aloud and to discuss a book chosen by the group. NCBC is moderated by volunteers who are also siblings of individuals with Down syndrome. If you enjoy reading and like to have fun, this club is for you! Advance registration is requested.

"One of the unexpected benefits that we have noticed lately is that Natalie's vocabulary is improving, just like anyone that is reading! That has been great to see. We are so happy that she has this opportunity.... Her confidence with reading has grown tremendously. She wants to improve-and with practice she becoming a more fluent reader." - Cindy Herndon, mother of Next Chapter Book Club Member Natalie Herndon

DSAMT Summer Arts Camp

Membership: Individuals with Down syndrome or other intellectual or developmental disabilities, age 12+
Session: 2013 TBD 
Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church, 3900 West End Ave, Nashville, TN
Cost: $150 registration fee per week ($250 for both weeks) includes all activities and supplies; financial assistance is available
Contact: or 615.386.9002

DSAMT's Summer Arts Camp is a two week day camp with a day camp format for kids, teens and adults with Down syndrome.  Campers can choose to attend either or both weeks.  Summer Arts Camp offers a chance to build friendships, communication skills and creativity in a fun and safe environment.  At the 2011 session of camp, campers explored the theme: "Around the World in Five Days". We practiced daily yoga, learn about cultures from around the world, and created a gallery of mixed media masterpieces using recycled and repurposed materials. 

KinderCamp: A therapeutic mini-camp to help youngsters prepare for kindergarten

Membership: Individuals with Down syndrome or other intellectual or developmental disabilities, ages 4 - 6
Session: 2013 TBD 
Location: DSAMT Conference Room, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 111 North Wilson Blvd. Nashville, TN 37205
Cost: $285 per camper for the 3-day-a-week, 3-week camp, financial assistance is available
Contact: or 615.386.9002

DSAMT is partnering with Play Ball Children's Therapy to provide a new camp this year - KinderCamp. KinderCamp features fun activities in a safe and nurturing environment that will help develop skills needed for kindergarten. The campers will experience strengthening, fine motor, sensory-motor, pre-writing and writing activities designed to engage your child all while having fun! The Handwriting without Tears © curriculum will be utilized, and camp fee includes the workbook.­­ Kelly Brooks, Licensed COPA, and Jennifer Barlar, SLP, are camp leaders.

I Can Shine (previously Lose the Training Wheels)

Membership: Open to kids with DS or other intellectual or developmental disabilities - age and/or height requirement applies
Session: June 3-7, 2013
Location: Nashville area
Cost: $150 / 5-day session
Contact: DSAMT, or 615.386.9002

DSAMT and the Pujols Family Foundation have teemed up to offer Tennessee's first ever Lose the Training Wheels bike camps. The 2009 and 2010 camps hosted more than 45 kids and adults with disabilities, as well as more than 60 volunteers from the community. More than 75% of campers at our two Lose the Training Wheels camps left as independent, two-wheel bicycle riders! We had a great time and are looking forward to hosting our next camp in Summer 2012.

The mission of Lose The Training Wheels is to teach individuals with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle and become lifelong independent riders. This achievement, in turn, creates a gateway of opportunity, helping them gain assurance and self-reliance in many other aspects of their lives.

Lose The Training Wheels is more than just a bike-riding program. For many children with disabilities, it's a program that helps them master a seemingly impossible task in less than a week's time. Within days of learning to ride, many children exhibit independent behaviors for the first time ever.

LTTW takes place over 5 days, Monday - Friday, and campers meet for 1.5 hour sessions each day in the Nashville area. It takes many volunteers to make Lose the Training Wheels a success. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer, please call DSAMT.  Registration will be open in Spring 2013. For more information, contact DSAMT at 615.386.9002 or

DSAMT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization funded by private support from individuals, foundations, community organizations and fundraising efforts.