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The story of how DSSC began

Miracles do happen in real life, and this story tells of one. The Down Syndrome Support (Cape) was formed at the end of 2001 by a small group of parents of children with Down syndrome. The parents saw the need for an office where information about Down syndrome would be available, and support for parents and families living with a child who has an intellectual disability. They felt that all parents should have access to a trained counsellor that they could talk to, and the group needed a space where parents could meet regularly for support and encouragement.

The Child Care Information Centre (CCIC) and toy library (TL) at Red Cross Children's Hospital (RCCH) had been operating for many years, but were threatened with closure due to the lack of funding. This provided DSSC with an opportunity to use the office space and continue to provide the necessary services utilised by the intellectually disabled members and their families. It did take a small miracle to meet this and the financial need, and we thank those who made the connection and who started the process: James Irlam, the then Director of the Child Health Unit, and Peter Muller, the then Chairperson of Down Syndrome South Africa.

The DSSC has been co-ordinating the services of the CCIC of the University of Cape Town at the RCCH since the end of January 2002.