Friday, November 22, 2013

Your Chance to win a signed set of Hunger Games Books

By Guest Blogger Greg Johnson

Catching Fire has just been released in theatres and somewhere on a branch in Emily's Family Tree is a leaf by the name of Suzanne Collins the author of The Hunger Games. Suzanne graciously signed a SET of The Hunger Games books (yes all three are signed!) specifically for Down Syndrome Indiana to be raffled off in December 2013. Visit: for a form you may fill out and mail in for a chance to win this very RARE set of books. Yes this set is extremely RARE not only because of the popularity of the series but also because the 3rd book in the series has very few true "Autographed" copies. During the national book signings of the release of Mockingjay Suzanne had an injury to her hand and had a special STAMP she used for signing the books. This set she signed for DSI is the Real Mccoy! If you are interested do a web search on Autographed Hunger Games Books and see if you can find a Mockingjay copy Autographed and not STAMPED. Here is a link to the first book The Hunger Games notice the price for 1 BOOK!!!!! Not all 3 and I guarantee the even more RARE Mockingjay is worth 2 times that! Oh and don't forget book 2. My math tells me this set is worth around $10,000.00! So for a small $10 chance you could be the lucky winner of a great set of books and help a great organization at the same time! Good Luck and "May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!"


PS Please forward this to your friends and family!


Greg, Claudia and Emily Johnson

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Case for Community Groups

Down Syndrome Indiana offers several different community group options. They include:  Cuenta Conmigo (for Spanish speaking parents), DSI D.A.D.S., L.A.D.S.O., Mom’s Night Out, Mooresville, Self Advocates and the Wabash Valley Stars. But why do we offer these groups? Is it just for people to get together? Is it purely social? Sometimes I am asked these questions and when I am it breaks my heart. DSI’s community groups are at the heart of what we do. Anyone that participates regularly can tell you that. But why are they so important? I have found a few studies that I think will help to answer that question…

DSI community groups offer social support to its families and serve as a means to disseminate up to date and accurate information to the families it serves.  Research indicates that, “social support is exceptionally important to maintaining good physical and psychological health…” (Ozbay, et al. 2008)

There is research and personal testimony to support a community group, such as, DSI D.A.D.S.  having a positive impact on responsible fatherhood, a healthy marriage and even economic stability. For example, a study conducted by Frey, Fewell, Vadasy and Greenburg in Topics in Early Childhood Education, found that in, “Families in which a father has been actively involved in programs of support and resource enrichment concluded the entire family benefits from such participation. Fathers, and mothers, reported improved self-esteem; they experience significantly less stress and sadness. Families believed they had substantially fewer problems in dealing with their child with special needs. There also was a positive effect upon the fathers’ satisfaction with other familial supports. In follow up studies, these benefits appeared to endure over time, even when the father was no longer an active member of the program”.

Yet another study concluded that, “people with high levels of social participation and networks have healthier behaviors.” (Nieminen, et. Al 2013).

So there you go! Getting together in a DSI community group can help you stay healthier in mind and body.  

Dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals with Down syndrome,
Lisa Wells, Executive Director

Nieminen, Tarja, et al . ( 2013) Social Capital, Health Behaviours and Health: A Population Based Study . BMC Public Health 2013 , 13:613 . Retrieved from: 

Ozbay, F., et al. ( 2008 ) Social Support and Resilience to Stress Across the Life Span: A Neurobiologic Framework .  Current Psychiatry Reports. Retrieved from:

Vadasy, Patricia F., et al . ( 1984 ) Siblings of Handicapped Children: A Developmental Perspective on Family Interactions . Family Relations. Jan1984, Vol. 33 Issue 1, p155. 13p.