What We Do
Manasota BUDS currently supports over 250 families impacted by Down syndrome across the Florida Gulf Coast. Our mission is to provide families with a neutral and supportive forum for sharing and networking, and to promote understanding and acceptance of Down syndrome.
Our vision is to continue to strive toward full acceptance, full access, full life, and full potential. Below are just a few of the programs and services that Manasota BUDS offers to the Down syndrome community:
Parents First Call Program
For new parents of babies with Down syndrome, an opportunity to speak with other parents who have experienced what you are experiencing can be invaluable. The Manasota BUDS First Call Program is an opportunity for new members to engage with other parent mentors who will listen, share, answer questions, and provide valuable information. This support service can be offered via phone, or in-person at a local hospital, at your home, or in a neutral setting.
Family Social Events
Manasota BUDS regularly hosts member events. These socials are a warm, informal way to meet other families, make friends, engage with the Manasota BUDS leadership team, and feel supported and connected. Our events range from family picnics, baseball games, and movie nights to field trips, family photo sessions, and parties. Participation in these events come at no cost to our members.
Play Groups and Gatherings
Manasota BUDS periodically hosts get-togethers broken into five age-appropriate categories: Baby Buds (0-2), Toddler BUDS (3-5), Kids BUDS (ages 6-12), Teen BUDS (ages 13-18), and Cool BUDS (Adults). These gatherings serve as a great opportunity to network, build meaningful friendships, and support one another.
Parents Night Out
BUDS regularly sponsors networking events for Moms and Dads. For example, our Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (DADS) Night Out program typically takes place the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Manasota BUDS is also exploring opportunities to offer periodic evening respite care so that our parents can enjoy a night together.
Each year, Manasota BUDS offers scholarships to its members on a first come/need basis. Scholarships given fall within several categories: Recreational, Educational, Parent, and Professional. Learn more about our scholarships opportunities HERE.
Manasota BUDS regularly hosts invaluable learning opportunities for our members. Over the years, BUDS has held seminars regarding speech/ASL, toileting, IEPs, navigating adolescence, Guardianship, Estate Planning, Special Needs Trusts, etc. Parent scholarships are available, reimbursing families for attending external conferences and expos pertaining to Down syndrome.