The National Down Syndrome Society Advocacy Team and You!

Course Number

This course is FREE for ALL members of, unlimited memberships start at $89/year: Become a Member

Presenters: Michelle L.W. Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP and Nicole Patton

In this episode Michelle is joined by the lovely Miss Nicole Patton, Registered Lobbyist with the National Down Syndrome Society, at their Headquarters in Washington, D.C.  While Nicole lobbies at a national level, it is more than just a “job” to her, as it comes from a place of love and compassion as she has a sister with special needs.  Tune in to this episode and become educated as to what initiatives are currently being advocated for at the national level, how this can impact the patients that we treat in our own small towns, and find out how you can become involved at your local level.  Bottom line…all these combined advocacy efforts positively impact the care that we deliver to our patients and Nicole is here to share how!


By the end of this PodCourse, participants will be able to identify and describe

  1. 2 action items for the current legislative agenda for NDSS.
  2. NDSS stance on utilization of ST and ABA when a patient has a dual diagnosis of DS and ASD.
  3. Prevalence and impact of Hirschsprung’s Disease and Celiac Disease in individuals who have DS and how NDSS is working to raise awareness.
About Michelle - Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP is an accomplished lecturer and PEDs Therapist, she has written and given numerous ASHA approved CEU lectures on such topics as Infantile Spasm and Oropharyngeal Dysphagia, along with Apps and ST, and co-authored a course on Best Practices in EI.  She has also given an AOTA-approved lecture on Sensory Integration from the SLP perspective.  Michelle has delivered lectures at the SCSHA Convention and twice with the SCATP Expo. 

About Nicole - Nicole is the Manager of Grassroots Advocacy at the National Down Syndrome Society. She works and assists our NDSS DS-Ambassadors® in their advocacy efforts on the federal, state and local level. She supports the mission of NDSS to be the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome by advocating for policies that positively impact people with Down syndrome across the country. Nicole attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City and graduated with a BA in Political Science.  Prior to NDSS, she worked for a New York State Senator in Brooklyn, NY and as a Direct Support Professional for children and adults on the Autism Spectrum.
Additional Information

This course is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Introductory Level, Related Area)

Course Timeline:

0-10: Introductions and Backgrounds
10-20: Discuss best current legislative agenda for the NDSS.
20-30: Discuss NDSS stance on utilization of ABA and ST for individuals
with Dual Diagnosis of ASD and DS.
30-45: Discuss prevalence of Hirschsprung’s Disease and Celiac Disease
and who NDSS is working to raise awareness.
45-00: Questions and Answers

Disclosure Statement for Michelle Dawson:

Financial: Michelle Dawson is a presenter for and receives royalties.

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Disclosure Statement for Nicole Patton:

Financial: Nicole Patton is a presenter for and receives royalties.

Nonfinancial: No relevant nonfinancial relationships exist.

Course Hours
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