Pathways™ is a life-changing and transformational program for children and young adults with Down Syndrome ages 4-20

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What is Pathways™?

DSG’s new Pathways ™ program, launching January 1, 2019, seeks to change the status quo by empowering individuals with Down syndrome to achieve their highest potential. Driven by the Charting the Life Course principles, Pathways ™ is a life-changing and transformational community-based, therapy program for children and young adults with Down syndrome ages 4-20 and their families.

Pathways ™ will develop critical skills that lead to increased participation in home and community, improve behavior, facilitate communication, increase independence in daily life skills, prepare for employment, empower self-determination, equip families, inspire children and young adults, and set new and higher standards for individuals with Down syndrome

Pathways ™ will provide individualized, direct support to build a child’s independence, communication, and behavior skills today, while preparing for a meaningful and productive adult life in the future. Families will receive 50 hours of assessment, intervention, and consultation services at an accessible service site over the course of 12 months for every year they are enrolled. Re-enrollment in the program in consecutive years is encouraged for continual progress towards long-term goals.

The Pathways ™ program is designed and facilitated by DSG’s new multidisciplinary therapy team, consisting of an Occupational Therapist, Speech-Language Pathologist, and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In their respective roles, these therapists will represent unique areas of expertise: OT (daily living, sensory processing, modifications and assistive technology, cultural competency), SLP (speech development, pragmatic language skills, feeding, augmentative communication), and BCBA (behavior analysis, modification, and reinforcement). All of these highly skilled professionals have a heart for community-based practice, a drive for best practice intervention, a desire to collaborate with serve families, and expertise in development and skill-acquisition across the lifespan. Joined together with two educators on the current DSG program team, the entire Pathways ™ team has a combined experience of nearly 60 years supporting individuals with Down syndrome.

Pathways ™ is: child-centered, family-focused, strengths-based, goal-driven, expertly-designed, professionally-facilitated, multi-disciplinary, community-based, donor-supported, and technologically-integrated

What services are included in the Pathways ™ comprehensive program?

The components of the 12-month Pathways ™ comprehensive program include:

  • Pathways ™ Interdisciplinary Evaluation – the interdisciplinary Pathways ™ team provides a two-hour, highly individualized, comprehensive evaluation to determine strengths and challenges of the child within his or her home and community life. Family interviews are utilized to understand the daily life of the child and determine the family’s priorities for intervention. Every family will complete a Pathways ™ Home and Community Life Skills Checklist to quantify baseline performance (or progress) on independence in daily life skills.
  • Pathways ™ Annual Plan – The Pathways ™ plan includes short term goals and a long-term vision for adulthood, which are driven by the Pathways ™ Focus Areas. Individualized strategies will be specified to help the family achieve the agreed upon goals.
  • Pathways ™ Focus Areas – These are the priority areas for skill-development inspired by the domains within the Charting the Life Course framework. Goals will be developed collaboratively to address the skills within these focus areas, which have been deemed priority by the assessment process and family input.
    • Meaningful Daily Routines (self-care, organization, transitions, flexibility in non-routine situations, scheduling, eating, preparing meals, hygiene, bathing, dressing, laundry, use of lists, visual supports, or video-modeling for independence)
    • Communication & Social Participation (communicating wants and needs, self-regulation, friendships and family relationships, independent leisure activities, inclusion in community activities, use of personal technology, social behaviors in community settings)
    • Productivity Skills (job skills, volunteering, home management, cleaning, money management, technology skills)
    • Healthy Living (physical activity, functional movement, food selection, eating portions, medication routines, healthy sexuality)
    • Safety (emergencies, online safety, understanding consent, understanding boundaries of different types of relationships, communication of personal information, navigating the community)
    • Self-determination and Self-advocacy (making choices, introducing myself, expressing wants and needs, having responsibility, goals and dreams for future)
  • Pathways ™ Therapy Sessions – Families will have 5 one-hour long additional therapy sessions beyond the initial evaluation. These sessions will take place in the DSG therapy space at our office in Mission, KS, and will include in-person consultation with the families and hands-on therapeutic activities with the child. One of the therapy sessions will be dedicated to a video review (or a visit from the therapists if scheduling allows) to review the child’s participation or behavior in a home, work, or community activity so the therapists can have a glimpse into the child’s daily life experience in their natural context. Strategies will be provided to the family on how to assist and support the child more effectively in the chosen context.
  • Pathways ™ Portal – an online portal provides families with expert reviewed effective resources, skill-specific learning activities, video tutorials, and confidential document sharing to help families navigate the year ahead.
  • Pathways ™ Progress Monitoring – the child’s progress will be monitored closely. Families will be provided official documentation, including evaluation reports, the Pathways ™ Plan, a mid-term progress report, and Pathways ™ Growth Report.
    Pathways ™ Growth Report – Families will have a growth assessment at the end of the Pathways ™ year. A report will be provided identifying skill attainment and progression towards goals. We recommend the report be shared with school districts and added to the IEP record.
  • Generalization of Pathways ™ goals into DSG group programs – Families will be encouraged to enroll their children and young adults in the age-level group programs available at DSG, including PALS (Peers Actively Learning Skills; 7-11 years old), STARS (Special Teens Achieving Real Success; 12-18 years old), Club 3-2-1 (18+ years old), and the HIRED (Helping Individuals Realize Employment Dreams; 15+ years old) program. The programs above are free or low cost. Pathways ™ participants will have the opportunity to practice their targeted social, behavior, and communication goals in a supportive social setting with same-age peers. Data will be collected to determine progress on skills.

What does it cost to enroll in the Pathways ™ comprehensive program?

Pathway ™ tuition is $3000 per year or $250 per month. This tuition has been significantly subsidized by grants and generous donors who support DSG. Payments for service may be made on a monthly payment plan. This is a private-pay therapy program. Down Syndrome Guild is not able to bill insurance or Medicaid for this program. Needs-based scholarships are available. Please contact Sarah Mai, Director of Family Services, for more information:

How do I apply for the Pathways ™ program?

  • Register for a username and password on the Pathways ™ Portal
  • Complete online application form on the Pathways ™ Portal
  • The Director of Family Services will contact you to discuss your application and further steps of enrollment. Payment plans can be discussed at this time.
  • Once approved, you will be provided access to the Pathways ™ Portal and your initial Pathways ™ Evaluation will be scheduled.
  • The first monthly payment will be required prior to scheduling the Pathways ™ evaluation.

Are there other services available besides the Pathways ™ comprehensive program?

Families may select an alternative Pathways ™ package called Pathways ™ Light at a modified rate of $2400 annually ($200 per month). Pathways ™ Light involves receiving services concentrated from one discipline for the 12-month program, rather than a multidisciplinary approach. There will be 27 hours of direct and indirect support provided by either a speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, or board certified behavior analyst.

Pathways ™ Light options:

  • Pathways ™ Light – Communication (SLP)
  • Pathways ™ Light – Behavior (BCBA)
  • Pathways ™ Light – Daily Living (OT)

Upcoming Informational Meetings

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    • Information meeting – October 15th – 7 PM – 5960 Dearborn Street, Suite 100, Mission KS 66202
    • Information meeting – October 29th – 7 PM – 5960 Dearborn Street, Suite 100, Mission KS 66202
    • Information meeting – November 15th – 7 PM – 5960 Dearborn Street, Suite 100, Mission KS 66202
    • Information meeting – November 30th – 7 PM – 5960 Dearborn Street, Suite 100, Mission KS 66202
    • Information meeting – December 15th – 7 PM – 5960 Dearborn Street, Suite 100, Mission KS 66202