San Diego Down Syndrome

SDDS Resource Guide of Services


San Diego Area Resources for Individuals with Down Syndrome

National Websites

  • AAIDD- American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Association of Professional dedicated to support families of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities

  • Down

Has as its mission provide information about Down syndrome, and to help communities to be more accommodating. It is a place to connect with other families, find resources, and promote advocacy, among many other things.

  • The ARC

The largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families

  • The National Down Syndrome Congress

Offers general information on Down syndrome and a “New Parent Packet.

  • The National Down Syndrome Society

Offers comprehensive information about Down syndrome. And works as a national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.

Helpline: 1.800.221.4602

The helpline offers support from Monday though Friday, 9AM to 5PM EST. Available in 150 languages

  • Parents helping Parents

Website providing valuable information  to parents with young children with disabilities.

  • The National Parent Network on Disabilities

Especially useful for parents of school-age children with disabilities.

En Español:

  • ·         National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC)

La misión del NDSc es proporcionar información, apoyo y abogacía en todos los aspectos concernientes en la vida de los individuos con síndrome de Down


State of California government website

  • The California State Council on Developmental Disabilities (San Diego Area)

Ensures that people with developmental disabilities and their families receive the services they need. The  Website provided is for the San Diego area board.

Support groups

For Families and Professionals:

  • Exceptional Family Resource Center Provides support, information, and education for families of children with disabilities, and for professionals who work with them. Attends children of all ages, and disabilities.

Sherry Torok
9245 Sky Park Court, Suite 130; San Diego, CA 92123
858-268-4275 Fax

For Families:

  • Down Syndrome Family Support in Temecula Valley

Support group for parents of young children with Down syndrome from birth to 5 years.

Meets 2nd Tuesday of the month from 5-7pm.

Call (951)696-1486 or (714)357-3702 or email

  • Down Syndrome Association Of Orange County

Provides resources, services, and more, in order to provide everything that people with Down syndrome need to achieve their full potential

151 Kalmus Dr # M5,

Costa Mesa, CA

(714) 540-5794

  • DSA/EFRC Central Support Group for parents of young children with
    Down syndrome

For parents of children of all age groups

Meets monthly at the Harold J.Ballard Parent Center, 2375 Congress Street, San Diego 92110 from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Supervised play for children up to age 10 is available with reservation. Please call 594-7408



  • DSA/EFRC North County Support Group for parents of young children with Down syndrome.

Invites you to attend a Series of Informational Meetings For parents of young children with Down Syndrome to became informed about programs, services, resources, and to socialize with other families.

Meets every second Tuesday of each month at : Teri Inc, 251 Airport Road (side door, north side), Oceanside, CA 92058 from 6:00pm – 8:00pm.

Please contact Trish at (760)761-5524 or

  • HOPE Infant Family Support Program

The HOPE Infant Family Support Program is a public special education program that offers services to infants and toddlers with special needs and their families. Limited to families with children between 0 to 3 years of age, who are residents of the North San Diego County.

910 W San Marcos Blvd #BI

San Marcos, CA

Phone: 760-471-7353



Support group for primary caretakers of children with a developmental delay or disability.

Meets from 7:00PM to8:30 PM. at the Crimson Center for Speech & Language

9606 Tierra Grande #107, San Diego, CA 92126.

Please call 858-695-9415 to reserve free

  • Mommy & Me

Group for mothers and their children with Down syndrome
(birth to age three)

meets monthly at various locations in North County.
Call Michelle at 760-295-2637 or Rachael at 760-295-2530 or

For Families in the Military:

  • Military Excepitonal Family Members Program

(858) 505-4136 extension 231

  • Armed Forces YMCA

(858) 751-5755 extension 116

Specially for children:

  • TEMECULA - Social group forchildren between 9 and 13 years of age.

Meets every other Thursday from 4:00PM  to  5:30 PM. There is also a monthly group meeting and Saturday morning coffee for moms.

Contact Julie at 951-699-3127 or

En Español

  • Down Syndrome Association Of Orange County

151 Kalmus Dr # M5,

Costa Mesa, CA

(714) 540-5794


  • National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC

  • La Asociación Síndrome de Down de San Diego:

Grupo de apoyo padres de niños con Síndrome de Down.

Sitio: Harold J. Ballard Parent Center, 2375 Congress Street, San Diego, CA 92110

Habrá una área de juegos supervisada para niños menores de 10 años.  El espacio es limitado, por favor reserve su lugar con anticipación.

Para obtener más información o para hacer su reservación, por favor llame a Manuela Valdez al (619)594-7416 o escríbanos a

General Resources Listings

  • Disability Online Resource Center-

Created by, and for people with disabilities.  The site offers comprehensive, reliable information, products and services.


  • Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego-Down Syndrome Center

The Down Syndrome Center improves the consistency of care for children with Down syndrome, serves as a resource for other medical professionals, and strengthens the social network for families.

7920 Frost St. #200
San Diego, CA  92123

For appointments call the Genetics Department
Phone: 858-966-5840

Health Care Financing


San Diego Regional Center

The San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) serves as a focal point in the community through which a person with a developmental disability and his or her family can obtain services and be linked to other community resources within San Diego and Imperial counties.

4355 Ruffin Rd , suite 200
San Diego, CA 92123-4307
Phone: (858) 576-2996


  • The Music Therapy Center of California

7801 Mission Valley Court, Suite 104
San Diego, CA 92108

(619)299- 1141

The Music Therapy Center of California offers a variety of services for children with special needs and their families, including music therapy sessions, summer camps, school-based programs, adapted lessons, home-based consultation, and group sessions.

  • T.E.R.I. Inc’s Therapeutic Equestrian Program

A well coordinated, yet relaxed program of basic horsemanship, gymnastics, physical therapy, sensory integration and game playing, their lessons are designed to meet personal therapeutic goals and build on existing abilities and strengths. For children with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

Jenell Tiffany

phone:  (760)630-4298,

or T.E.R.I.’s main office at (760)721-1706.

  • San Diego Park & Recreation Department

Therapeutic Recreation Services

The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services (TRS) program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to San Diegans with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

War Memorial Building, Balboa Park

3325 Zoo Drive

San Diego, CA 92101

phone: (619) 525-8247

(TDD) (619) 692-3866

After School Programs

  • Xcite Steps

Xcite Steps is an innovative after school and summer mentorship club dedicated to assisting children, teens and adults with developmental or cognitive disabilities. Xcite Steps has structured programs that fit the needs of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental disabilities, cognitive disabilities, fragile x, or any other challenges

Locations throughout San Diego area

phone 858-764-2956






Summer Camps

  • Little steps Christian School

During the summer months, two week-long full day summer camps are available for toddlers and preschoolers, with themes that include Outdoor Adventures, Music & Art, Young Engineers, and Exploring Animals.

6551 Soledad Mountain Rd,

La Jolla CA 92037,

phone (858) 551-7780

  • Xcite Steps

offers summer camp for kids and teens who experience cognitive disabilities. providing personalized attention and works hard to build and maintain an environment in which campers feel like they can be themselves, open up, make friends and most importantly have fun!

phone 858-764-2956

Recreational Services

  • Booster Buddies

 A club that offers recreational activities for young people with Down Syndrome over the age of 15.

contact Brenda Goldbaum at or 858-452-0408.



  • California Avenue School

Offers services for all children with or without disabilities from preeschool to 6th grade

215 W. California Ave.

Vista, CA, 92083

phone: (760)  630-4870

  • Little steps Christian School

The Little Steps Christian Preschool, part of the Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church, is open to children ages two months to five years old, with or without disabilities.

6551 Soledad Mountain Rd,

La Jolla CA 92037,

phone (858) 551-7780

  • TERI’s Learning Academy

A special education school dedicated to serving students in the San Diego, California area with  developmental disabilities ages 8 to 22 years

3225 Roymar Rd.
Oceanside, CA 92058
(760) 721-1706 ext. 133
Fax (760) 547-2129

 Higher Education

  • Think College

Offers college options for people with cognitive disabilities.


  • APSE- Advancing Employment Connecting People

APSE is the only national organization with an exclusive focus on integrated employment and career advancement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

  • Goodwill Industries of San Diego County

Goodwill’s Supported Employment program provides part-time and full-time paid employment for people with developmental disabilities. It also offers paid training,  and other programs.


3663 Rosecrans St.

San Diego, CA 92110-3226 /

Phone: (619)225-2200 or (888)446-6394




STRIDE (Specialized Transportation Referral and Information for the Disabled and Elderly) Web Site
A database of public and private transportation providers in the  San Diego County that you can search by zip code neighborhood. 

Other Programs

  • Best Buddies

Dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Tool Free: (888) 68-BUDDY (28339)

·         Special Olympics Southern California

Special Olympics Southern California is a nonprofit organization that empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition.


Independent Living / Self-Advocacy

 Books-  For families, and professionals

  • Down syndrome: the facts

A guide for parents of children with Down syndrome discusses the child’s health, development, and behavior, and explores education and treatment possibilities

Author: Mark Selikowitz

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA; 2 edition (January 15, 1997)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0192626620                      ISBN-13: 978-0192626622

  • Down syndrome: visions for the 21st century

Providing a comprehensive survey of the clinical, educational, developmental, psychosocial, and transitional issues relevant to people with Down syndrome, this book addresses the needs of family members, caregivers, and professionals alike.

Authors William I. Cohen, Lynn Nadel, Myra E. Madnick

Publisher: Wiley-Liss; 1 edition (June 15, 2002) Language: English

ISBN-10: 0471418153                      ISBN-13: 978-0471418153


  • Down syndrome: a promising future, together

The book concludes with the personal stories of young adults with Down syndrome, including an account by Chris Burke of the television series Life Goes On. Other chapters include: Step-by-step advocacy skills Health and clinical care

Authors    Terry J. Hassold, David PattersonEditorsTerry J. Hassold, David

Publisher: Wiley-Liss (October 23, 1998)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0471296864                      ISBN-13: 978-0471296867

  • Teaching Reading to Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers (Topics in Down Syndrome)

Teaching Reading to Children with Down Syndrome presents a nationally recognized reading program for children with Down syndrome which effectively meets each child’s unique learning needs and style From introducing the alphabet to writing and spelling, the lessons are easy to follow. The many pictures and flash cards included appeal to visual learners.

Author: Patricia Logan Oelwein

Publisher: Woodbine House; 1 edition (February 1, 1995)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0933149557      ISBN-13: 978-0933149557

  • Fine Motor Skills for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents And Professionals (Topics in Down Syndrome)

This book explains the best practices and procedures for helping children master daily living skills for home, school, and an independent future

Author: Maryanne Bruni

Publisher: Woodbine House; 2nd edition (March 30, 2006)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1890627674                      ISBN-13: 978-1890627676

  • Gross Motor Skills in Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals (Topics in Down Syndrome)

Children with Down syndrome master basic gross motor skills-everything from rolling over to running-just as their peers do, but may need additional help. This guide provides activities for parents and professionals to practice with children from birth through age six.

Author: Patricia C. Winders

Publisher: Woodbine House; 1 edition (August 1997)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0933149816                      ISBN-13: 978-0933149816

  • Early Communication Skills for Children With Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals

Focuses on speech and language development from birth through the stage of making 3-word phrases. This book offers a wealth of information on intelligibility issues, hearing loss, apraxia (difficulty planning oral-motor movements), and other factors that affect communication for children with Down syndrome.

Author Libby Kumin

Publisher: Woodbine House; 2 edition (July 2003)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1890627275                      ISBN-13: 978-1890627270


  • Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents’ Guide

A guide has benefited thousands of families since it was first published in 1985, is completely revised and updated in a new, third edition. Covering the best practices for raising and caring for children with Down syndrome through age five, this book is invaluable to new parents who have welcomed a baby with Down syndrome into their lives.

Editor: Susan J. Skallerup

Publisher: Woodbine House; third edition edition (September 19, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1890627550                      ISBN-13: 978-1890627553


  • Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters

The authors address preteens and teenagers who have a sibling with Down syndrome, answering questions that have been generated through their work with this population.

Authors: Brian Skotko, Susan P. Levine

Reading level: Young Adult

Publisher: Woodbine House (March 9, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1890627860                      ISBN-13: 978-1890627867

En Español

  • Bebes con sindrome de Down: Nueva Guia para padres(Spanish Edition)

Author: Susan Skallerup

Publisher: Woodbine House; 3 edition (July 9, 2009)

Language: Spanish

ISBN-10: 1890627992                      ISBN-13: 978-1890627997


  • Bienestar mental en los adultos con sindrome de Down: Una guia para comprender y evaluar sus cualidades y problemas emocionales y conductuales (Spanish Edition)

Este libro es un recurso inestimable para los padres, profesionales de salud mental, los profesores y los médicos que desean comprender mejor cómo promover la salud mental y resolver los problemas psicosociales en las personas con síndrome de Down.

Authors: Dennis McGuire Phd, Brian Chicoine M.D

Publisher: Woodbine House; first Spanish-language edition in USA edition (February 25, 2011)

Language: Spanish

ISBN-10: 1606130234                      ISBN-13: 978-1606130230



  • Sindrome de Down: Hacia Un Futuro Mejor: Guia Para Los Padres

El objetivo predominante de este manual es convencer a los padres de que hay esperanza, de que un niño con síndrome de Down es, en primer lugar y por encima de todo, un ser humano con todas las luces y sombras inherentes a la humanidad, y que puede contemplarse un futuro mejor con vivencias cercanas a las del resto de los niños.

Author: Siegfried M. Pueschel

Publisher: Brookes Publishing Company; 2 edition (January 30, 2003)

Language: Spanish

ISBN-10: 8445811673

ISBN-13: 978-8445811672





  • Dakota’s Pride (2007)

In this documentary Tough questions are posed to and answered by a noted Harvard Physician, and parents of children with Down Syndrome. The documentary also celebrates the successes that have been and can be achieved by individuals with Down Syndrome.


  • Down Syndrome: The First 18 Months (2004)

Provides a comprehensive introduction to this disorder that can help other parents understand what causes the condition and how to care for their babies during the critical early years

Professional Growth

  • Palomar College.

Offers classes in child development, including some specially tailored for people interested in working with children with disabilities.

1140 West Mission Road
San Marcos, California 92069-1487

phone: (760) 744-1150

  • Miracosta College

Offers classes in child development, including in special education.

1 Barnard Drive

Oceanside, CA, 92056

Phone:  (760) 208-1784

Toll Free: (888) 220-0805

Other Diagnosis-Specific

Recreation / Sports / Leisure

  • Special Olympics Northern California (SONC)
  • VSA arts of California
  • VSA arts of California at Sacramento
  • AbilityFirst Camp Paivika
    Offers year round programs for children, teens, and adults with physical and deve lopmental disabilities. Camp Paivika has been welcoming campers since 1947, and is fully accredited by the American Camping Association. Our camping program encourages independence and broadens social contacts through recreation.
  • California Lions Camp
    Committed to providing special needs children of California and Nevada a safe haven to experience at California Lions Camp
  • Camp Beyond the Scars
    Camp Beyond the Scars consists of a three-day winter camp and a weeklong summer camp. Both camps provide a relaxed social setting, which offers burn-injured children the support and counseling needed to establish and enhance their self-esteem. Campers learn that there are other children who have had the same unfortunate experience. Camp has proved to be a positive, special experience for young burn survivors.
  • Camp Bloomfield
    Junior Blind of America’s Camp Bloomfield provides children and youth who are blind, visually impaired or multi-disabled with a natural and safe environment to develop self-esteem, build independence and fully experience the joys of childhood. Nestled in the Santa Monica Mountains in Malibu, this 40-acre campground offers various week-long camp sessions for children of all ages and disabilities.
  • Camp Coelho & Camp Quest
    Summer Camp For Children with Epilepsy & Seizure Disorders Ages 8 – 15.
  • Via West Campus (formerly Camp Costanoan)
    A residential, respite and recreational camp for children and adults, ages 5 and older, with physical and/or developmental disabilities.
  • Camp Christian Berets
    Offers unique, creatively crafted weeklong Summer Camps, designed to meet the special needs of persons with disabilities. We also offer Retreats tailored for our disabled guests on several weekends throughout the year.
  • Camp Grizzly 
    For children between age 7 and 17 who are Deaf or hard of hearing, hearing but has deaf or hard of hearing parents or hearing but has deaf or hard of hearing siblings.
  • Camp Krem
    Provides summer camp for children and adults with developmental disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, Autism, and Cerebral Palsy.
  • Camp Okizu 
    Offers the unique opportunity for children with cancer (and their siblings) to learn independence, nourish positive self-esteem and gain skills they never thought were possible.
  • Camp ReCreation
    Provides a residential summer camp program which offers participants with developmental disabilities opportunities for fun, social interaction, skill development, and spiritual growth while increasing the awareness and acceptance of our participants in the larger community.
  • Camp Sunshine Dreams
    For the child who has cancer a camp experience as similar as possible to the typical summer camp experience enjoyed by well children.
  • Camping Unlimited 
    A residential camp for children with developmental disabilities in Northern California’s Santa Cruz Mountains.
  • Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake 
    A fully accessible residential summer camp for children who are ‘at-risk’ with a variety of special medical needs, economic hardship and/or emotional, developmental or physical disabilities.
  • Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times 
    Mission to create a positive long-lasting impact on children with cancer and their families by providing fun-filled, medically supervised, cost-free, year-round camp programs.
  • Camp Rubber Soul
    To provide a unique recreational camp, integrating children with special needs and youth counselors to experience friendship, understanding, acceptance and allow respite for families and caregivers.
  • Firefighters Kids Camp 
    Supports burn injured children by helping them to foster a positive outlook towards their future and their burn rehabilitation. Activities include rafting, swimming, boating, hiking, fishing, biking, rock climbing, astronomy, arts and crafts, campfire songs, games and more! The camp staff, activities and support programs have all been selected to meet the special needs of the young burn survivors while still allowing the kids to enjoy a traditional summer camp setting.
  • Kris’ Camp
    Therapy camp focusing on children with autism/autistic like challenges
  • Painted Turtle
    A Hole-In-The-Wall Gang camp for seriously ill children.
  • Special Camp for Special Kids
    Educational and recreational summer day camp for youth with disabilities in one-to-one peer relationships with volunteer counselors.
  • Tikvah program at Camp Ramah
    Designed for Jewish adolescents, ages 11 to 18, with learning, emotional, and developmental disabilities.

Research / Demonstration Programs

Special Education / Early Intervention


Advocacy & Information

Life with My Special Ks


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