Welcome to Down Syndrome With a Slice of Autism….
This blog is all about Nick’s world….The rest of us are just trying to keep up. Each blog post gives a glimpse into how I navigate co-occurring Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD) with my son, Nick who is 27 years old. Topics are related to everything under the umbrella of special needs but geared towards a dual diagnosis of DS-ASD. The information is provided for parents, teachers, caregivers, physicians, therapists, and anyone touched by a child or adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Blog categories include:
Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC)
Adult Day Programs
Dual Diagnosis Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD)
Doctors and Dentists
Down syndrome Awareness
Government funding and legal issues
Health Issues and Down Syndrome
Parenting and Special Needs
Special Needs Resources
Special Needs Parenting
Therapies (OT, Speech, and PT)
Tech/AAC (communication devices)
The Fun Side of Nick
About Teresa Unnerstall:
Teresa is the author of A New Course: A Mother’s Journey Navigating Down Syndrome and Autism available now on Amazon order here at: https://amzn.to/2W3Un6X
Teresa is also a consultant, for the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area, offering expertise on co-occurring Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD). She is the mother of two boys and lives in the Chicago area along with her husband, Alan. Her youngest son, Nick has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism (DS-ASD). She has published articles for The Mighty, book reviews, and recorded numerous podcasts and webinars. Teresa is a speaker and advocate in the community and she has given guest lectures at Aurora University and Northern Illinois University. She serves on the board of The Down Syndrome-Autism Connection. In addition, Teresa has worked in the fitness field teaching for over 30 years. Her passion is fitness, along with writing, speaking, consulting and advocacy to offer information, insight and hope for those working with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
About Nick Unnerstall:
Nick is a spirited young man with an infectious smile, who loves life. He graduated from Metea Valley High School and the STEPS post-secondary transition program, where he worked on vocational skills along with having jobs both at the campus and in the community. Currently, Nick attends an adult developmental day training program which provides a wide range of skill development, vocational opportunities, and community trips. Outside of his day program, Nick loves helping out at home, music, movies, swimming, going out to eat and to the movies,
Having a dual diagnosis of DS-ASD presents unique challenges with behavior and speech. There are speech and cognitive delays, associated with DS-ASD. Teresa has put an emphasis on focusing on Nick’s strengths while working with his IEP teams and currently as a young adult.
In Teresa’s book, A New Course: A Mother’s Journey Navigating Down Syndrome and Autism, she writes about the many gifts that Nick has given to her and those fortunate to be a part of his life. Nick has taught the world many things such as patience, compassion, unconditional love and humor. One of those “gifts” is sharp reflexes. You see, Nick has a passion for pulling fire alarms. Whatever you do, make sure you scout the area for those fire alarms….otherwise he will beat you to it! That’s Nick’s world, the rest of us are just trying to keep up…..
Nick riding in the fire truck at the Outer Banks, in Duck, NC. So, how many fire alarms has Nick pulled?
CURRENT FIRE ALARM PULL COUNT=55!!!!!!!!
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LINKEDIN: Teresa Unnerstall