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Family Ideas Network for Down Syndrome 

Serving McHenry County & Surrounding Communities

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Down Syndrome into Adulthood

Michael Fisher | Published on 5/27/2022

Many families are unsure where to turn when their adult with Down syndrome finishes public school around
age 20.


My name is Steve Friedman. I’m a proud parent of Gwendolyn, a 27-year-old adult with Down syndrome. Over the last ten years, Gwendolyn and her family have been on a journey in pursuit of her independence. It’s actually been a lifelong journey that has culminated in productive outside work, bolstered confidence, and a move out of the family house into an amazing residential community.


Along the way, I’ve maintained a blog to share the journey and engage with other parents and caregivers, some perhaps members of your own organization. Topics have included defining independence, highlighting common health issues, planting the seeds of independence, and steps and challenges of finding the right living community.


I’m now in the process of writing The UPLifting Guidebook, a resource to assist parents, caregivers, and self-advocates to pursue their own definition of independence. The Guidebook will be filled with the struggles and successes of a diverse group of families and, perhaps most importantly, step-by-step guidance to prepare and pursue independence from the earliest of ages through adulthood.


The UPLifting Guidebook is scheduled for publication on March 21, 2023. My goal is to gather the needs of many to ensure a complete guidebook and then to share the findings to as many parents and caregivers as possible. Hence, I ask for your assistance:

  • In 2022, I would like to share my blogs and Family Survey with your membership, either via your email distribution, website, and/or Facebook Group.
  • In 2023, I would like to present our findings via a FREE Zoom call with your membership. A portion of any Guidebook proceeds in conjunction with the meeting will be returned to your organization to support the important work you do.



Please take a look at the articles on our website and let me know how we can work together to support the dreams and opportunities of our loved ones with Down syndrome and their families.