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Welcome to the Down Syndrome and Autism Alliance



DSCBA is committed to provide support for families whose children have an additional diagnosis, such as autism and ADHD etc. This group is also open to parents (or persons,) seeking more information about a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. This DSCBA Facebook group is called, Bay Area Down Syndrome & Autism Alliance. https://www.facebook.com/groups/dscba.autism/  

This private Facebook Group, is a place for families to ask questions, share advice, resources, and experiences about the unique challenges, added stress, struggles and successes of raising a child with a dual diagnosis. The focus is on helping each other to find possible solutions, along with humorous stories, in a safe, non-judgmental environment. This group is open to parents, family members, caregivers, and others working with a child or adult having Down syndrome and autism in the Bay Area.


The DSCBA is happy to have a specialized resource on our team...Teresa Unnerstall.   Teresa is on the DSCBA staff working as the Dual Diagnosis DS-ASD Consultant. Teresa has worked with the National Down Syndrome Association (NADS) specifically in their dual diagnosis group for ten years. She has also met and tackled many challenges with her son Nick over the past 25 years and has documented that journey in an amazing blog (Down Syndrome with a Slice of Autism) rich with empowering information, much of which you may be able to relate to and or benefit from.  https://nickspecialneeds.com

Phone Consultation Hours: (Pacific Time) 630-341-3037 ·

Mondays *3:00pm - 5:00pm · Wednesdays *10am - Noon

*Additional times, including weekends available by appointment: Text cell number above to arrange a time.

Email Consultation: tjunnerstall@comcast.net - (response within 48 hours)

The DSCBA will be working with Teresa on future workshops, retreats and other varying types of support opportunities based on the calls/emails she receives and your feedback


More Information


A Picture is WorthPECS and Other Visual Communication Strategies in Autism, 2nd edition, Bondy, Andy and Lori Frost (Woodbine House, 2011).  An introduction to the Picture Exchange Communication System, which is used by many people with disabilities to communicate basic needs.

Activity Schedules for Children with AutismMcClannahan, Lynn, 2nd edition (Woodbine House, 2010). Covers how to use activity schedules to structure tasks and teach skills 

Assessment: A Case for Neurobiological Work-up in Autism, Vatter G (1998)

Autism and Sleep Information

Autism Society of America- An organization dedicated to improving the lives of all affected by autism. www.autism-society.org

Autism SpeaksAn organization with the goal to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. www.autismspeaks.org

Autistic Disorders In Down Syndrome: Background Factors and Clinical Correlates – Rasmussen P, Börjesson O, Wentz E, Gillberg C (2007)

Changing Behavior... & Teaching New SkillsSwiezy N (1999)

Comorbidity of Autistic Spectrum Disorders in Children With Down SyndromeKent L, Evans J, Paul M, Sharp M. (1999) (PDF)

Creating Support for Families of Children With Down Syndrome With a Co-Diagnosis: A SurveyMedlen J (1999)

Catherine Whitcher- Nationwide speaker, advocate, trainer and IEP Consultant. catherinewhitcher.com

Down Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: A Look at What We Know, George Capone, MD (1999)

Down Syndrome-Autism Connection- Non-profit organization serving individuals and families affected by both Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorders. www.ds-asd-connection.org

Down Syndrome-Autistic Spectrum Yahoo! Group

Down Syndrome & Pervasive Developmental DisordersNordhauser M (1997)

Down Syndrome With A Slice Of Autism- Blog and Facebook page by a parent who has a son with Down syndrome and autism. www.nickspecialneeds.com 

DSE Down Syndrome and Autism InformationDown Syndrome Education International summarizes educational research on children with Down syndrome and autism or an autistic spectrum disorder. www.dseinternational.org/en-us/education21/10/  

Kennedy Krieger InstituteBased in Baltimore, MD

National Association for the Dually Diagnosedthenadd.org

NDSS Down Syndrome and Autism Information- The National Down Syndrome Society provides an overview of Down syndrome and autism. www.ndss.org/Resources/Health-Care/Associated-Conditions/Dual-Diagnosis-of-Down-Syndrome--Autism/

Neuroanatomic Correlates of Autism and Stereotypy in Children With Down SyndromeCarter JC, Capone GT, Kaufmann WE (2008)

Parent Center Hub- "Hub” of information and products for the network of Parent Centers serving families of children with disabilities. 

The Autism Discussion Page on Anxiety, Behavior, School and Parenting StrategiesA Toolbox for Helping Children Feel Safe, Accepted and Competent. Bill Nason (Jessica Kingsley, 2014). Autism Discussion Page on Facebook 

When Down Syndrome and Autism Intersect- Froehlke, Margaret and Robin Sattel Zaborek, editors (Woodbine House, 2013). Survey of best practices for diagnosing, treating and providing care to children with both Down syndrome and Autism.