In Remembrance
Tomorrow, 22nd September, it will be one year since the tragic death of Lena Zhang Harrap.  We will take time to privately reflect – and at the wishes of Lena’s family, and advice of the police – there will be no public social media from ADSA, NZDSA or UpsideDowns.  It is important to note that the court trial has not happened yet.  We are in communication with Lena’s mum – and have sent her our thoughts, and a small gift at this time on behalf of the Down syndrome community.
  • Upcoming ADSA events
  • Workshop opportunities
  • NZDSA want to hear about your job
  • Employment Training Opportunity – Newcoat
  • NZDSA Conference – 3rd – 21st October via zoom
  • ADSA 0-12 year olds Christmas party

Primary Schoolers Playdate & Clothing/Toy Swap!

PRIMARY SCHOOLERS PLAYDATE: 25th September 2pm - Grey Lynn Community Centre

Please RSVP via text to Paula 021 247 2966, or email

Little Ones Coffee Group

COFFEE GROUP: 29th September 10am - Parenting Place, Gleenlane

Please RSVP via text to Paula 021 247 2966, or email

Think Plan Do 4th and 5th October (FREE)

Lacking INSPIRATION? feeling UNMOTIVATED?  Here is the answer!

Take some time during October to attend one of these workshops.  The incredible team at Family Network will inspire and encourage you to take a little time out for "future thinking".  This will ultimately guide the daily decisions you make and can help keep you on your path when things get tough. 
Apart from that you- you will get to meet local celebrity Bridget Snedden - mother of Alex, co-founder of The Family Network, recipient of Queens Order or Merit (ONZM), and president of Down Syndrome International!

It is never too soon to start – or to late!  Please check out the event information at this link

Workshop: Work & Income Support 28th Sept, 10:30am via zoom.

A presentation by Work & Income Health & Disability Coordinators.
Topics include:
  • Supported Living Payment
  • Accommodation Supplement
  • Child Disability Allowance
  • Disability Allowance
  • Supported Living Payment
Cost $20 per family, Professionals $50 (working in disability sector)
Email: for more information or to register.
Next month is Down syndrome awareness month and in line with our 2022 theme of inclusion – we’ve been thinking about raising awareness of including people with Down syndrome at work. 

With that in mind, we would love to hear and share stories of the work that you do.  We are asking people with Down syndrome and their employers to get together and film a short video of you at work answering the following questions:
For people with Down syndrome:
•          Tell us about your job.
•          Tell us about the things that you do at work.
•          What are your favourite parts of your job?
•          What does having a job mean to you?
For Employers:
•          Can you tell us a bit about your company?
•          What does inclusion mean to you in your workplace?
•          Can you tell us about some of the positive aspects of having someone with Down syndrome as part of your team?

If you want to share your story but would prefer not to be on camera - no problems we still want to hear from you – just send us a written story. 

We would like to share these stories with our network to raise awareness this may include online via our website and social media so please make sure that anyone included in the videos is comfortable with this.  Please also make sure your video is no longer than 2 minutes and is filmed in a landscape format. 

Please send your videos to Zandra or Kindred – Psychology at work who are helping us with this work before the 30th of September. 

Pre-employment skills training opportunity.

The team at Newcoat and Seat Renew Global are establishing In Our Element trust (with support from Akina). In Our Element is providing pre-employment skills training and work experience for youths 16-21 with mild intellectual disabilities including ASD, ADHD, acquired brain injury and other neurodiversity or barriers to employment.  Our service delivery model is a valet service for cars, boats, caravans, RV, and industrial machinery.
Based on the successes of our pre-pilot project in Term 3 2022, we plan to run a pilot programme with up to 24 youths.  They will come to us in groups of 6 at the beginning of each term and stay for 1 year.   Our trainees come into our head office at Newcoat (Albany) on Wednesdays during school term time from 9am-3pm. We do a mix of warehouse skills, office skills, manufacturing, vehicle detailing, and soft skills development.   We have a small team of onsite technical support and job coaches.  Our technical team teach the fundamentals of health and safety, warehouse tasks, valet skills, team skills. Our trainees valet a vehicle each week – car, boat, caravan. These vehicles are those of people who help our trainees -  parents, teacher aides, caregivers, special people.  They do everything from first wash to cut and polish, to ceramic coating the exterior and interior cleans, fabric/leather protection and glass coatings.  Our job coaches work alongside the trainees in the warehouse, and with the essential workplace skills – communication, hospitality/customer service, social and interpersonal skills, cv writing, job ad understanding, workplace processes and documentation.  Expressions of interest are open now until October 15.  Please contact for more information.
(check out to find more about this company)


Have you seen the amazing schedule of information sessions coming up online from NZDSA?  An incredible wealth of topics to choose from throughout October.  These are all via zoom, and you need to register beforehand.  It doesn’t cost anything – but donations are appreciated of course:
Find out all the details – and register for session here:

The full calendar is also at this link – take some time to have a look.  You won’t be disappointed.
We are delighted to announce that our children’s Christmas party will be held on 20th November at Kiwi Valley Farm.  This event is for ADSA families who have a child with Down syndrome age between 0-12.  Siblings may also attend. 

All details are at the Eventbrite link.
password: adsa2022

It's time again for the best and highest quality FREE Christmas party for special children ever held in Auckland. The party will be held at The Trusts Arena, 65-67 Central Park Drive, Henderson on Saturday 10th December. It will run from 11:30am until 2:00pm.

There is only one ticket available per family. This ticket is for a child with Down syndrome and one parent or caregiver (No siblings please). The age group attending will cover birth to (and including) 12 years. Please email Xuan at if you have any questions.

Here is the link for registrations

🎈Tickets to Farmers Santa Parade 🎅 

The Farmers Santa Parade would love to invite the children in your care to be our guests as we celebrate the incredible 89th year of the Farmers Santa Parade!

The Parade will be held on Sunday 27th November at 1pm. Should it ‘rain on our Parade’ the date will be moved to Sunday 4th December.

Please fill out the form here if you would like to go.

Please email Xuan on or Paula on if you have any questions regarding the events and news highlighted in this update.
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