Mission & History


Our mission is to provide education and support to individuals facing the unique challenges caused by co-occurring Down syndrome and autism.

Our goal is to ensure that families, teachers, and healthcare providers receive the education and support they need -- with the ultimate goal being that children and adults with DS-ASD will receive the understanding, education, medical care and opportunities they so greatly deserve.


The Down Syndrome-Autism Connection™ is the only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to co-occurring Down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder (DS-ASD) in the United States.  

The Connection was founded in 2007 in Denver as a collaborative project by parents and professionals seeing a great need to reach out to families and individuals affected by DS-ASD.  In 2011, we became our own non-profit organization.  While we are headquartered in Colorado, we care deeply about your journey no matter where you live.  In this age of accessible technology, we are able to support people from coast to coast, and even overseas.  We are gathering a global community in support of those with  DS-ASD.

If you are a parent wondering if your child (or adult child) may be affected by autism spectrum disorder, we want you to know that you are not alone. Whether your child actually has a co-occurring diagnosis or not, we hope that you will find this website of great value as you search for answers and support.  If you are a professional wanting to learn more, we are here for you, too!  Please send us a message and sign up for our e-newsletter by clicking on the "Contact Us" tab above. Thank you for joining our DS-ASD community! 

"The Down Syndrome-Autism Connection not only lets families know they are not alone, the organization empowers parents to maximize the full potential of their sons and daughters with dual diagnoses. I have come to appreciate the importance of their work through my involvement with the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and Massachusetts General Hospital."

-- Dr. Brian Skotko, Co-Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Down Syndrome Program

Providing Education, Support & Inspiration

for the Journey


What parents are saying about why they need the specialized outreach provided only by the Connection:


"Because we feel like we don't belong in either 'camp'. My son's peers with DS are so far ahead of him, and the kids with autism seem to function highly but have other issues.  It's a whole other ballgame."

"It seems to me that when you combine the two, it becomes a completely different, new condition. You can't make any assumptions based on what you think you know about either condition. We all need to learn more about this co-occurring diagnosis. Thanks for trailblazing this important issue for my benefit as a therapist, as well as for the families I serve who feel really misunderstood."