Down Syndrome Programming

Symposium and Information Sessions

Bodies, Boundaries, and Sexuality: Understanding Sexuality and People with Intellectual Disabilities
May 1, 2015, 7:30 am - 3:30 pm (Lunch NOT provided, dining options are within walking distance)
University of North Carolina at Charlotte, McKnight Hall (inside Cone Center)

This symposium is designed to help parents, educators and other professionals become more comfortable and confident addressing sexuality issues that commonly surface among individuals with intellectual disabilities. Best practice research for teaching sexuality to individuals with cognitive disabilities will be shared along with resources and ideas for teaching.

Learning Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast sexual learning in the general population with patterns of learning among individuals with cognitive disabilities
  • Identify typical stages in childhood and adolescent sexual development (in other words "What's normal?") and emerging developmental issues unique to individuals with intellectual disabilities.
  • Describe key roles parents and professionals play in promoting and supporting healthy sexual development
  • Describe key foundational concepts that support healthy sexuality
  • Identify models for thinking about and handling sexuality issues
  • Identify resources for teaching and supporting healthy sexuality at home, school, and in the community

Register for Symposium

 Early Bird: March 1 - 31
 $20 $35
 General: April 1-26
 $40 75
 $90 $90
 Continuing Education:
 $15 $15

About the Speaker:
Terri Couwenhoven, M.S. is an ASSECT certified sexuality educator who specializes in developing programs and resources for people who have cognitive disabilities, their families and the professionals who support them.  She is the author of Teaching Children with Down syndrome about their Bodies, Boundaries and Sexuality: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, The Girls’ Guide to Growing Up: Choices and Changes in the Tween Years and A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up: Choices & Changes during Puberty.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Cone Center
Lunch will NOT be provided

 Puberty: Parent - Daughter
 $15 $30
 Puberty: Parent - Son
 $15 $30
 Boundaries & Relationship: Self-Advocate
 $15 $30

Puberty Workshop
(Separate workshops for Girls and Boys)
Designed for pre-adolescents (usually ages 10-14) this program helps students who experience cognitive disabilities learn about how their bodies will grow and change during puberty and how to manage these changes. Parents and pre-adolescents learn together in comfortable, safe, and fun environment.  Concrete, interactive methods are used to improve comprehension. 
8 am – 10 am Parent/daughter workshop Register Here
11 am – 1 pm Parent/son workshops Register Here

Self-Advocate Workshop: Boundaries and Relationships (age 15 and up)
The first portion of this session focuses on understanding different types of relationships and the roles these people play in our lives.  Building on that idea, the second part of the workshop helps participants learn socially appropriate touch and talk boundaries within different relationships. Rules for private body parts are discussed and healthy and unhealthy boundaries are compared and contrasted.
2:30 pm – 4:30 pm Self-Advocate Workshop Register Here


The Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte provides informational sessions for parents, caregivers and professionals in our community to educate them on issues that may be of interest or helpful in raising their loved one with Down syndrome. Recent sessions have covered topics such as Special Needs Financial Planning, Toileting Skills, Early Intervention, Segregated Classroom, Inclusion-Based Classrooms, Oral-Motor Placement and more. All Member Meetings are free of charge and are typically held on Saturday mornings. We provide child care on site.

Carolinas Down Syndrome Conference 2014

In September 2014, DSAGC presented the
Carolinas Down Syndrome Conference

Educator Conference
National and local speakers presented to Administrators, Teachers, Therapists and Allied Professionals on topics such as:
Reading and Math Accommodations
How To Make Inclusion Work
Behavior Interventions
and more …

Download the Educator Conference Flyer

Family Conference

Track One: Parents and Care-givers

National and local speakers will present topics such as:
What Your Other Children Without Down Syndrome Are Thinking
Behavior Interventions
Educational topics
Medical topics
and more …

Track Two: Teens and Adults with Down Syndrome
National and local speakers will present topics such as:
Voting – Rights of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Nutrition and Fitness
and more …

Track Three: Brothers and Sisters Workshop
National Presenters, Dr. Brian Skotko and Sue Levine
For siblings (6th grade and up)

Download the Family Conference Flyer

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