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New Parents

Download 21 Welcomes on the New Parents website!

21 WelcomesWith our New Parent Package you will recieve a copy of 21 Welcomes. 21 Welcomes provides new and expectant parents the support and welcome they deserve. This book includes information about Down syndrome, sharing the news, family, siblings, early intervention, and next steps. More importantly, it also includes 21 beautiful stories from parents, siblings, grandparents, and self-advocates. We hope the updated New Parent Package gives new parents some great hope for the future.

You can now download this book at cdss.ca/parents.

"I just got my copy of the New Parent Package. I have to say it is absolutely amazing! I have shown people at work and they all could not believe how great it is. Great job! It is exactly what new parents need. Just wanted to thank you for sending me a copy and for all you do for us families that have children with Down syndrome and for the folks with Down syndrome themselves."

- Joanna Scott, mother of Caleb and Ty

Online New Parent Package

New Parent Package - Online

Today we are launching the online version of our New Parent Package! You can now access the New Parent Package with most devices (smartphone and tablets).


Download Understanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis

Understanding a Down Syndrome DiagnosisUnderstanding a Down Syndrome Diagnosis is now available as a free digital book. It is the only American prenatal booklet to have been reviewed by representatives of American medical and Down syndrome organizations. The goal of this book is to ensure that all pregnant women and their medical providers have access to the most accurate, balanced, and up-to-date information about Down syndrome. This book was developed by the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky. Get a copy today at lettercase.org - in English or Spanish.


Congratulations on the birth, or expected birth of your baby! While you may have been surprised to learn your baby has Down syndrome, know they will be a wonderful addition to your family.

Babies with Down syndrome need what all babies need – cuddles, nourishment, and love. They will grow, learn and develop, reaching childhood milestones – just at their own rate. Although your baby may have some physical characteristics common to people with Down syndrome, he or she will also look like members of your family. Your baby also needs health care, a rich stimulating learning environment and the company of family and friends.

You are not alone – approximately 781 babies are born with Down syndrome each year in Canada. There are 50 Down syndrome groups associated with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society, offering information and support.

If you are a new or expectant parent, please take some time to look through our website, contact our office and connect with local families. We know there is a lot of information to absorb right now, but the most important thing to remember is that Down syndrome is just a small part of who your baby is and will be. Nobody can tell you how much your child will be able to achieve – all we know is what the 45,000 Canadians with Down syndrome have and continue to accomplish.

It is important to remember:

  • Nothing you or your partner did before or during pregnancy caused your child to have Down syndrome. It happens in the early stages of cell division at conception – something we still do not fully understand.
  • No matter which type of Down syndrome your child has, the effects of the extra genetic material will be unique to them. They will have their own strengths, likes, dislikes, talents, personality and temperament. Think of your baby as a child first. Down syndrome is just a part of who they are.
  • Many misconceptions about Down syndrome stem from outdated information and stereotypes. Learning more about Down syndrome can help ease some of your uncertainty. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our information and resources, and allow friends and family time to learn more about Down syndrome as well.

Where should I go from here?

  • To inquire about a New Parent Package or to speak to someone in our office directly, please call us toll-free at 1-800-883-5608 or at 403-270-8500. A CDSS representative can answer any questions you might have, or direct you to a local group or contact that can provide you with more information.
  • Learn more about Down syndrome and the CDSS by reading our brochures in the Information section of our website. These brochures provide some basic information about people living with Down syndrome, the role of our organization, inclusion and self-advocacy.
  • Take a look at the Personal Stories section of our Information page for a collection of stories about meeting, parenting, and being a person with Down syndrome.
  • Connect with families and professionals by contacting your local group. Other parents are a valuable resource for learning more about raising a child with Down syndrome and can provide you with information about local contacts and resources. Click here to find one of the 50 Down syndrome groups associated with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society that is closest to you.

Personal Health Record (pdf)

Download the PDF of


Personal Health Record