NZDSA celebrating World Down Syndrome Day in Auckland

By Diane Burnett, Zone 1A – Auckland representative on the NZDSA Governance Committee

As the representative for the Zone1A on the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association Governance Committee, I had the pleasure and privilege of taking morning tea along to the central Auckland Music and Fun Playgroups to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day.

The group was started over five years ago by a mum with a young boy with Down syndrome, with the help of their recently retired Auckland District Health Board paediatric therapists Margaret Davidson and Marjorie Blakeley, who both generously volunteer their time and expertise to support our pre-school children in their early development, as well as their siblings and parents/caregivers.

Today they run the group once a fortnight as two sessions, one in the morning for toddlers aged 18-months to five and one in the afternoon for babies from 0-18-months. The groups are held at The Community of St Luke church in Remuera and have a gold-coin donation for tea/coffee and use of the room.

For me, it was the perfect opportunity to recognise and thank these two wonderful women who have given so much to our community over their lives and continue to do so through these two groups. It was also a way for us to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day with some of our newest members and to explain a bit about NZDSA, what NZDSA does for our community nationally and the difference between the Auckland Down Syndrome Association (ADSA) and NZDSA.