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Ages 12 - 18

Teen Years

Welcome! Down Syndrome Innovations offers opportunities and guidance for teens to build skills and reach their potential, as well as educational opportunities and future planning support for parents and caregivers. We are on this journey with you now, and throughout the lifespan of your teen. Consider us your teen's lifetime partner on this journey.

Our Unique Approach

Our Lifespan Services Team created our Lifespan Services Framework, which is the core of how we approach our mission and our work.

This Framework is a person-centered framework where the entire course of our services and supports—across their lifespan—revolves around the story, preferences, strengths, uniqueness, needs and available support system of each individual we serve. It is a dynamic framework evolving across any age or lifespan stage. When applying this framework, our Team ensures that we are addressing 7 key skills geared towards advancing the individual within their home and community life: Communication, Social-Emotional Skills, Daily Living, Vocational Development, Community Engagement, Health and Wellness, and Safety.

Get Connected

Have you filled out our contact form?

We encourage you to fill out our contact form so a member of our team can follow up with you and recommend relevant services and supports, plus we can add you to our mailing list!

It is especially critical that we have the birth date of your teen. Birth dates are very important as they guide us in which services and supports to recommend to families at each stage of life. At this stage in the lifespan, we specifically target communication to families who have teens approaching adulthood, so we can ensure you have access to critical transition information prior to your teen turning 18 years old.

We will follow up with you promptly after we receive your contact form, but you are welcome to message us directly as well, as we want to be responsive to your needs.

Your Personalized Newsletter

2024 Newsletters

Wherever you are on your journey, our expert Lifespan Services Team is with you continually finding new ways to offer innovative services for every age and season of life. 

Teens newsletter

Services & Support

Down Syndrome Innovations offers services and support offers opportunities and guidance for teens to build skills and reach their potential, as well as educational opportunities and future planning support for parents and caregivers.

Complimentary Consultations (virtual or in-person)

We can schedule time with you to get to know the needs of your teen and all of the caregivers involved in his or her life. We will also discuss services and supports relevant to this stage of the journey. We want to make the process of engaging with our organization as easy as possible for your family. If you are not sure what you need or how we can help, signing up for a consultation is the best step forward. There is something we can do at every step of the journey to support your family.


Skill-Building Series & Social Programming for Teens

Every quarter, we offer weekly, complimentary/free programming for teens to learn essential new skills, while also gaining important social skills by interacting among their peers. We know teens learn more when they have fun, which is why our programming is a great way to make new friends, gain independence, enjoy movement and physical activity, and best of all, have fun! Each quarter, we have a different theme, such as preparing for employment, kitchen skills, living a healthy lifestyle, and more!

Each quarter’s sessions then culminate with a celebration for all teens to gather and have fun! 

Our services and supports are rooted in our organization’s Six Pillars:

  1. Daily Living
  2. Community Engagement
  3. Communication and Social Skills
  4. Health, Wellness and Safety
  5. Self-Advocacy
  6. Vocational Development
Virtual Options!

We understand that there can be barriers to attending in-person services, which is why we also offer virtual options for teens with Down syndrome! Each quarter, we host Virtual Social Groups that focus on providing a structured environment for teens to socialize, learn, and have fun! Visit our events page to sign up!

Due to the generous support of our donors and grantors, these services are complimentary/free for families!

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Pathways Therapy Services

Down Syndrome Innovations offers interdisciplinary, family-centered therapeutic services to promote long-term success for teens with Down syndrome.

The Pathways team includes an occupational therapist (OT), a speech-language pathologist (SLP), and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The therapy team works by bringing together their unique, yet complementary, perspectives to help support skill acquisition across the home and community. Our team utilizes the Down Syndrome Innovations’ Lifespan Framework to guide goals and interventions across services.

Some services are designed for coaching caregivers and others are designed for direct intervention for your teen with Down syndrome. Pathways therapy services may take place on our Lifelong Learning Campus in Mission, KS or through teletherapy.

Learn more about Pathways Therapy Services.

If you are interested in learning more or enrolling, the first step is to get in touch with us!

Social Engagement (Therapeutic Small Groups)

Social Engagement is a therapeutic service that focuses on providing a supported environment where teens with Down syndrome can learn and practice social skills through specialized instruction from members of our therapy team.

Utilizing group instruction, a member of the therapy team meets with self-advocates of similar ages and skills to work on initiating conversations, conversational turn-taking, staying on topic, understanding hidden rules, and so much more.

These weekly therapeutic, small group sessions take place each quarter over a period of 8 weeks. The fee for this therapeutic service is $200 (ask us about county grant opportunities that often cover a portion of the cost of our therapeutic services).

Long-Term Planning Consultations

We are committed to preparing teens with Down syndrome for a meaningful, productive, and authentic adult life in the future. This requires providing assistance to parents and caregivers for future planning. This service provides individualized support to parents and caregivers to better prepare for the transition towards adulthood. Tasks and exercises may include contacting your local CDDO, applying for public funding, accessing local ID/DD services, learning about supported decision making, and defining action steps towards long-term goals. Our Lifespan Service Team will help you prioritize and plan according to your teen’s age and your family’s specific situation.



Down Syndrome Innovations provides essential, vetted resources to teen self-advocates, as well as parents and caregivers of teens with Down syndrome.

Health Care Information for Families of Teens with Down Syndrome

The Down Syndrome Health Care Guidelines are a thoughtful composite of the input of many experts involved in the care of people with Down syndrome. They reflect current standards and practices of health care in the United States of America. They have been designed for a wide audience: for health care professionals who are providing primary care, as well as specialists, nursing personnel and other allied health professionals, educators and early intervention providers, and parents and other caregivers.

Other Websites

We know that by partnering with other organizations that support our community, we are better together! That’s why we often feature other organizations and resources, so that your family has access to everything you might need throughout this journey!

Down Syndrome Clinic at Children's Mercy Hospital

Down Syndrome Clinic at Children’s Mercy Hospital serves as a medical screening mechanism for children with Down syndrome from birth through adolescence, following the Health Care Guidelines created by the National Network of Medical Clinics for Children with Down syndrome. An experienced team of professionals with an expertise and interest in Down syndrome participate in a weekly Down Syndrome Clinic in which each provider meets with the scheduled patient and their family to review and evaluate the specific needs of each child.


Check out our upcoming events for your loved one’s age range!

Life Care Plans and Special Needs Trust

Ensuring your loved one has the financial resources required to meet his or her needs without jeopardizing eligibility for government-provided supplemental benefits can be a challenge for any family.... READ MORE

  • Date:Tuesday, July 23rd
  • Time:6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Location:Down Syndrome Innovations: 5916 Dearborn St, Mission, KS 66202
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here!
  • Fee:Donor-Funded / FREE due to the generosity of our donors, grantors and community partners!

Co-Regulation Therapeutic Small Group (for Teens & Adults 14+)

This Co-Regulation therapeutic small group is geared towards self-advocates and caregivers who need to find shared language and shared strategies to work through big emotions. Self-advocate participants must be... READ MORE

  • Day/Time:Tuesdays at 2:00-3:00 pm or 4:00-5:00 pm
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here
  • Fee:8 Therapeutic Sessions for $220

Summer Teen Camp

Summer Teen Camp is offered on Monday afternoons this summer, with the option to commit to all six sessions in June and July, or only three sessions in the... READ MORE

  • Dates:Mondays beginning June 10th
  • Time:1:00 - 4:00 pm
  • Fee:$25 for 3 sessions (June or July) | $50 for ALL 6 sessions (June & July)
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here!

Self-Advocate Workshop: Public vs. Private, Puberty, and Relationships

At Down Syndrome Innovations, our team understands that teaching your teen/adult with Down syndrome about relationships and dating can feel very overwhelming. Using materials from the evidence-based curriculum, members... READ MORE

  • Date/Time:Mondays from 4:30 - 5:30, beginning June 17
  • Location:Down Syndrome Innovations: 5916 Dearborn St, Mission, KS 66202
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here
  • FeeFREE: thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, donors and grantors!

Visual Supports Across the Lifespan

Join other parents, caregivers, and educators to learn how to create and use visual supports from Megan DeBoom, our Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and our Director of Therapeutic... READ MORE

  • Event Details
  • Date:Wednesday, July 31st
  • Time:6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Location:Down Syndrome Innovations: 5916 Dearborn St, Mission, KS 66202
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here!
  • Fee:Donor-Funded / FREE

Community Workouts for Teens and Adults

These workouts are inclusive exercise opportunities at various gyms around the Kansas City metro. Workouts are designed to improve functional strength and stamina. These occur at different locations every... READ MORE

  • Date:Ongoing
  • Time/s:Various Times
  • Location/sVarious Locations: throughout KC region
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here!
  • Fee:Donor-Funded / FREE

DS-ASD Connection Group

DS-ASD Connection is a virtual gathering of caregivers to discuss resources, strategies, community supports, and challenges related to a child or adult’s current or potential dual-diagnosis of Down syndrome... READ MORE

  • Virtual Groups:Hosted Quarterly
  • Day/Time:Wednesday from 5:30 - 6:00 pm on 6/12 and 7/10
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here
  • Fee:Donor-Funded / FREE thanks to the generosity of generosity of our donors and grantors.

Post-High School Transition for Young Adults with Down Syndrome – VIRTUAL

Many parents, caregivers, and educators recognize how challenging the transition can be from high school to adult life in community for young adults with Down syndrome. As advocates for... READ MORE

  • Date:Tuesday, August 27th
  • Time:6:30 - 7:30 pm
  • Location:VIRTUAL
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here!
  • Fee:Complimentary / FREE due to the generosity of donors, grantors and community partners!

School-Age Support Consultations

Do you have concerns about behaviors or self-regulation in the home? Do you need help interpreting your child’s IEP or need strategies to better collaborate with your school team?... READ MORE

  • Date:Year-Round
  • To Learn More:Click Here!

*VIRTUAL* Social Groups (for Teens)

These VIRTUAL groups focus on providing a structured environment for teens to socialize, learn, and have fun!   Facilitated by Lifespan Services Team member, Lauren Holmes. Tuesdays from 5:00... READ MORE

  • Date/Time:Tuesdays from 5:00 - 5:45 pm, beginning June 11th
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here!
  • Fee:FREE: Funded by our donors, grantors and Community Partners!

Summer Basketball Camp: Skills & Drills with PAC Athletes

The Basketball Day Camps, Skills & Drills with PAC Athletes, are hosted by the PAC Basketball Program led by Coach Liam Wolfe, community partner and friend of our mission,... READ MORE

  • Dates:July 23 - 25
  • Times:6-12 yrs: 11 am - 12 pm | Teens/Adults: 12:30 - 2:00 pm
  • Learn More & RegisterClick Here!
  • Fee:Donor-Funded / FREE
Ages 12 - 86

Teen Years

Welcome families of teens with Down syndrome! Down Syndrome Innovations offers opportunities and guidance for teens to build skills and reach their potential, as well as educational opportunities and future planning support for parents and caregivers.

We are on this journey with you, now and throughout the lifespan of your child. Consider us your lifetime provider on this journey.