Meet Our Members

Why do we call the individuals we work alongside Members? Because at DSL we are one big family, supporting, loving, and encouraging each other as we walk through life. There are so many unique members across the Kentucky and Indiana area and we would like to introduce you to just a few…

Austin

This guy never ceases to amaze me with the things he knows! My “Special Needs” son’s favorite show is The Voice, mainly because he #1 loves music and #2 loves Blake Shelton. He is quick to name the original singer of a song, like Marvin Gaye or James Taylor or Kelly Clarkson. He remembers who won which season. His sister, asked him what his favorite Broadway musical, “Newsies” was about and he replied, patiently, “well, do you know what a newspaper is?” Then proceeded to explain the story line. When he was asked whether he thought Andy and Kelsi’s baby (before her birth) would be a girl or a boy, he replied simply, “Just let the Dr. decide”. Lol!

This guy keeps me straight as far as what is happening on which day and what needs to be done. He is the one that, again patiently, helps his dad and I learn how to change the regular tv over to the DVR or Netflix or a DVD. The reason I explain all of this is, yes he has Down Syndrome but that doesn’t limit him. That is just one minor detail about him, along with his green eyes and scruffy beard. If I could tell the me of 25 years ago half of the things that my sweet baby would accomplish, no scared tears would have ever been shed. If I could tell any new parent anything at all, my main advice would be “never say never” and do not limit your child by what “they” say they’ll never be able to do. So proud to celebrate Down Syndrome month because of this guy. We Love you Austin Edelen.

Trinity

This is Sassy Ms.Trinity. She is 15, and a Freshman at Jeffersonville High School. She loves to make friends, DC Heroes, cooking, taking care of her dog, makeup, sports,and making friends. She has more friends than I can count, but her BFF (who’s neurotypical) has been with her for 11 years…they’re like sisters. She also plays several sports; bowling, track, basketball, gymnastics, and cheer. Our favorite thing about DSL, are the Tweener Events.

She doesn’t have any friends with DS at school, but she HAS made some through DSL. I love that she has been able to find friends that she can identify with.

Jaxon

This is Jaxon. He is 2.5 years old, loves playing ball, admiring how handsome he is in the mirror, and splashing the bathtub. His favorite things are smiling at strangers and waving “hi” to anyone that gives him attention. While he’s only saying 2-3 words, he picks up on sign language very quickly.

He loves to play with his siblings and gives the best hugs! My favorite thing about DSL is the family-centered approach to what can seem like overwhelming challenges. We have met so many families through DSL events that have truly made the difference in our journey with Down Syndrome.

Zachary

I am 3 years old and just started preschool. I love it! I also love riding the school bus. I love my Mommy, Daddy, big brother, Thomas, and our puppy Buddy! I love books, puzzles, and watching Puppy Dog Pals.

I love going to the Toddler Playgroup, at Down of Louisville, on Saturdays. I also love going to the Family events and of course, the Steps to Independence Walk!!

Mommy and Daddy found out I had Down syndrome prenatally, at 16 weeks. No big deal! I just have a little more to love.

Charlie

This is Charlie. He is 14 years old. He loves basketball, super heroes, chili, sausage cheeseburgers, pizza rolls, mountain dew zero and pringles. He gets his feelings hurt easily. Is a night owl. He started PRE-ETS in January and enjoys it. Summer he goes to Achieving Dreams camp.

Charlie was first visited at home by Diana Merzweiler when he was 3 day old. He started SEE the first year it started and went every summer until he aged out. DSL is a big part of our lives. We have met so many great and caring people who are now our friends.

Jeremy

Jeremy has learned so much from DSL. The boogie down has helped Jeremy know more friends. He loves to dance and hangout with his friends. Tutoring has helped him with spelling and reading.

ADA has helped with all of these. We appreciate all of the individuals that have helped him with all of these activities.

Justin

This is Justin. He’s compassionate, hard-working, fun, motivated, and responsible. He enjoys singing, dancing, hanging out with friends, and playing sports. Justin pushes himself to reach his goals and plans to go to college, get a job, and continue with sports.

He plays softball, basketball, flag football, and is on the bowling team at school. He is part of the Boogie Down Crew, Dance Fit, and Pre Employment Training at DSL. He is involved with Shine Ministry at church and loves worship music!

Kaelan

Kaelan is 6 months old and rocking her extra chromosome. She loves her Big Brother and her Stuffed Bunny. She rolls over like a champ and enjoys tummy time. She’s got everyone that she meets wrapped around her tiny finger immediately.

Teresa

Funny Teresa story: If you’ve spent time around her you know she LOVES The Beach Boys. She can make them relevant to any topic and any questions response be about them. It can be over the top obsessive. So one day I was particularly impatient and banned it…..”Stop! No more talking about The Beach Boys! I don’t want to hear it anymore. You’re driving me crazy!” She was devastated. I felt bad but it was seriously out of control. It worked for a very short while.

Then she started spelling out B-E-A-C-H-B-O-Y-S to talk about them again. I gave her a look and with an expression of defiance she said “I didn’t say their name, I just said the letters!” I had to start fake coughing to cover my face trying to hide laughter. She got me on a technicality.

Then she resorted to talking about them by saying their individual names. Which took me a while to catch on to.

Now she’ll sometimes say “the five of them” or some reference to 5 guys.

I’m really proud of all the creative ways she’s used to get around my ban and I secretly love this rebelliousness in her, but I’m also desperate for something different to come along and take their place in her mind!

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