A group of West Kootenay parents of children with Down Syndrome gathered at the Kootenay Kids on Stanley Street on November 8.

A group of West Kootenay parents of children with Down Syndrome gathered at the Kootenay Kids on Stanley Street on November 8.

Kootenay Kids hosts families with Down syndrome

November 1 through 7 was National Down Syndrome Awareness Week.

A group of parents and their children with Down syndrome gathered at Kootenay Kids in Nelson today. Four of the seven children there were born within 18 months of one another so the closeness in age has brought the parents together as a support network of sorts. Parent Selina Birk said families try to gather twice a year to share information about the development of their children.

Birk said when her daughter was born, she was given a referral to Kootenay Kids. Within a week the organization was in contact with information for her and her husband who were new parents.

“They really are a fantastic group of people who just want to help these kids,” said Birk.

Several of the children see Linda Hunter from West Kootenay Infant Development. Both parents and children also take communication classes which includes speech therapy and sign language.

Hunter said Supportive Parents Educate Advocate for Kids (SPEAK) meet the last Thursday of the month at the Family Place on Silica Street. For more information contact Hunter at 250-352-5546.

November 1 through 7 was National Down Syndrome Awareness Week.