Empowerment Classes

Empowerment classes are offered to individuals with Down syndrome of all ages and abilities. These classes include sign language, kitchen skills, physical therapy, cheerleading and more! The purpose of our Empowerment Classes is to truly empower participants by learning a new skill or partaking in a new activity. Classes typically meet weekly over a six week period. We offer new classes each quarter, so be sure to keep an eye out for the ones that interest you or your loved one. There is a $20 fee per 6 week session and registration is required.

Parent & Child Aquatic Experience

Ages: 0 – 5 years
Dates: Saturdays • September 14 – October 19
Time: 1:30 - 2:15 PM
Location: Cincinnati Recreation Center-Mt. Auburn (2034 Young St, Cincinnati, OH 45219)
Class Instructors:  Julia Alvarez and Eric Rueger
Program Coordinator: Jena Wells, Early Matters Coordinator
Description: The purpose of this program is to teach safe behaviors in, on, and around the water and to develop swimming readiness. Parents and children engage in water exploration activities with the objective of having fun and becoming comfortable in, on, and around the water. We will be focusing on skills such as breath control, relaxing techniques, horizontal body position on the front and back, propelling through the water using kicks and arm movements. Due to a variety of expected development, we will be teaching skills based on each student’s individual assessment which will occur during the first class. Each child who attends will also receive an annual membership to the Cincinnati Recreation Commission. 


Beginning Beats

Ages: 0 – 2 years & 3 - 5 years
Dates: Saturdays • October 5 - November 9
Time: 9 - 9:45 AM (ages 0 - 2) | 10 - 10:45 AM (ages 3 - 5)
Location: DSAGC Office (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, OH 45212)
Class Instructor: Kate Legge
Program Coordinator: Jena Wells, Early Matters Coordinator
Description: Ages 0 – 2: Your child's musical experience will be designed in a purposeful and developmentally appropriate manner to focus on parent-child bonding, hand-eye coordination, beginning sign language/communication and exploration of tactile, auditory and visual stimuli. The work of children is play - and music is playful! Young children learn through repetition; thus each week builds upon songs and activities presented in the prior week's class. Please bring your own blankets (yoga mats will be provided).

Ages 3 – 5: Your child's music experience will be designed in a purposeful and developmentally appropriate manner to focus on shared play, turn-taking, listening and responding. In turn, this class strives to facilitate growth in communication, social development, sensory-motor

and cognitive skill areas. Each week builds upon songs and activities presented in the prior class, so at the culmination of the session, you should be able to see the progress in your child!

** There will be a lottery draw if more than 12 participants sign-up for each session.**


The Value of Chores

Ages: 6 - 12 years
Dates: Wednesdays • September 25 - October 23
Time:  6 - 7 PM
Location: DSAGC Office (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, OH 45212)
Class Instructor: Joan Dostal, Cincinnati Occupational Therapy Institute
Program Coordinator: Joanie Elfers, School Age Matters Coordinator
Description:  Participants will explore a variety of possible chores for your child. Chores build a sense of value to the family and self- esteem. Taking steps toward greater independence in life skills can begin now. Chores can also meet developmental goals such as improving hand skills, motor planning, visual perceptual skills, organization and task completion. Working together with your child, you will explore a variety of tasks to help with household routines such as cleaning, laundry and meal setup/cleanup. Led by an occupational therapist, this will be a time to discuss what is reasonable to expect for your child and what might be a natural progression for taking on more responsibility and growing independence.



Ages: 6 - 22 years
Dates: Dates TBD; there will be three practices in November and performances throughout the season. Once we can gauge the interest, we will know which day/time to hold practice.
Time:  TBD
Location: DSAGC Office (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, OH 45212)
Class Instructors: Coach Debbie, Coach Joanie, Coach Lucy
Description: Join Coach Debbie Schroeder (former Ben-Gal), Coach Joanie Elfers, and Coach Lucy to learn the basics of cheerleading as well as a dance routine which will be performed all over the Greater Cincinnati area! After practice sessions conclude, we perform at several high school basketball half-time shows with high school cheerleaders. These performances are optional and Coach Schroeder will announce them at a later date. Each cheerleader will receive a uniform and pom-poms for practices and performances. They get to keep the poms, but we request for the uniforms to be returned at the end of the season in order to keep costs down. We encourage both boys and girls to participate!


Healthy Relationships

Ages: 13 - 17 & 18 - 30
Dates: Mondays • October 28 - November 11
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 PM (ages 13 - 17)
Location: DSAGC Office (4623 Wesley Avenue, Suite A Cincinnati, OH 45212) 
Class Instructor: Barbara Thomas, M.ED., CSE, JSOC, CSES
Description: Ages 13 - 17: These three classes will give teenagers and adults with Down syndrome an opportunity to gain information about their bodies, boundaries, and healthy relationships. Parents are welcome to stay on-site, but we ask that they wait in the front lobby.

Barb Thomas is an Education Consultant who offers consultative services in human sexuality.  She has forty-five years of experience in Special Education coupled with forty-one years in the field of Human Sexuality.  Currently, Barb is the director of Thomas Educational Consulting Services.  They offer expert training, education, and consultation services in the field of Human Sexuality Education.  She is also the Executive Director of the TALL Institute (Thomas Adventures in Lifelong Learning).  The TALL institute offers adult education classes to adults with intellectual and developmental challenges with a focus on socialization and employment opportunities.


Some of these resources were created by the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati (DSAGC). If you work for an outside organization or live outside the Greater Cincinnati area, please consider making a donation so we can maintain updated resources.