The Down Syndrome Association of Toronto (DSAT)

Community News


In honour of World Down Syndrome Day

In honour of World Down Syndrome Day, Tuesday, March, 21.

This is Sophia, she is a shining example of someone who loves her life. She is a Director of the Youth Action Committee (YAC) for the Down Syndrome Association of Toronto and a beautiful woman with Down syndrome.

You may see the numbers 3/21 associated with this day. It means that the 21st chromosome has three, instead of two pairs, in people with Down syndrome.

On March 18, 2017, there was an event for World Down Syndrome Day where Sophia and her fellow YAC Directors spoke to a packed room. They spoke powerfully about what was important to them and how their lives were shaping up.

The video "I Am Sophia" was showcased at this event.

I was approached afterwards by a young mom, with a gorgeous little baby in her arms, who told me that hearing these YAC Directors speak demonstrated to everyone there that people with Down syndrome are creating fun and full lives, they are contributing to society and have hope for a rich future and this gave this mom hope for her daughter to live a rewarding life and I am sure, gave hope to many other families.

These YAC Directors are very brave and courageous adults and are faced with some massive obstacles and atrocities throughout their lives.
But we are thrilled to witness tides shifting and this is due to advocacy on the part of people with Down syndrome, fierce and relentless work on the part of their parents who stand strong for inclusion and other individuals and organizations who advocate on their behalf.

We are thrilled to see the collective consciousness softening, becoming open, developing awareness, showing a willingness towards acceptance, inclusion and seeing the abilities in every living soul.

I have had the gift of being surrounded by these amazing adults for many glorious years. They have taught me how to tune into their frequency and how to open myself further to be able to receive the potency of what they have to teach me. Many times I just stand there in awe of their magic and I have to constantly remind myself to turn my brain and limiting beliefs off and open my heart wider.

A while back I had sustained a spinal injury that I suffered through for over 10 years and was finally healed through energy medicine called Bio Feedback. I have learned so much about this modality through my healing journey. Because of this unique education I am able to see that many people with Down syndrome are energy medicine masters and teach unconditional love. Doesn't that sound like what we need focus on to create a more peaceful existence on this earth? Shhh, don't tell anyone, but I secretly think that people with Down syndrome come here, to this earth, to teach us that.... and we are listening.

When I am in their presence, I feel like I can be myself because there is absence of judgement. I feel loved unconditionally. I can tell you that, other than in my own family, and a few friends, this is a rare and glorious environment to be in!

When I am around these beautiful people, my frequency gets higher and I can feel every cell in my body vibing out. Just like I did when I was getting Bio Feedback. It feels like a party in my body! Sometimes I can ride that vibe for two days!

This kind of environment allows me to breathe deeply, gently expand into who I am and be fully present in each moment.


With deep gratitude to my dearly beloved tribe and teachers!


Yvonne Bloom

Director DSAT


We are so please and proud to announce that one of our Directors of the DSAT's Youth Action Committee and DSAT's Camp Diversability, Dylan Harman Livaja along with another DSAT member Krystal Hope Nausbaum and five other very talented actors have been performing to sold out audiences at the Young Centre for the Performing arts in the Distillery District.  The story is very powerful as it offers the audience a look into what it was like to be a person who was considered to be an "imbecile" and be condemned to a life in the Huronia Institution between 1861 and 2009. Towards the later years, awareness, community support and understanding grew which greatly decreased the number of people in the institution and resulted in an increase in nursing staff which resulted in better care.  

This is the stark backdrop to a love story between two males, one of the "inmates" and a "normal" staff member of the institution.  The story delved into many of the challenges around love.

The actors presented the story so well. There is a mountain of script to present and it was executed to perfection to a standing ovation.   Judith Thompson is the playwright and Director and our hat goes off to you Judith for an exceptional experience, education and strong memories you and your team delivered to us.

There is still time to catch Wildfire and support our members as it is running till May 20, 2017.  

Other Cast Actors:

Andreas Prinz

Michael Liu

Suzanne Love

Nicholas Herd

Sarah Carney

Did your blood test for celiac disease come back negative? But you're still feeling the symptoms?

Make sure your doctor screens for IgA as well...not sure what that is?

To make sure your doctor is requesting all the latest blood analysis tests for celiac disease, read more here:



(Join Angie's to receive great gluten-free recipes!)

When you are tested for celiac disease, you almost always have blood tests drawn looking for antibodies to tissue transglutaminase (tTG) as well as endomycial antibodies (EMA). These are tests of a particular kind of antibody, also called immunoglobulin, which your body may be making in reaction to parts of the intestinal lining.

What exactly are immunoglobulins? Immunoglobulins or antibodies are a part of the body’s defense system. They are made by a type of white blood cell called a B cell. There are 4 main kinds of immunoglobulins.

IgM is what the B cells make when they first meet up with a virus, bacteria or other toxin and are trying to fight off the infection. IgM is found in the blood.

IgG is made the next time the body is exposed to a specific virus or bacteria. IgG can be measured to show that a person had a specific infection in the past, which usually means they are immune to that infection. For example, women can be tested for immunity to German measles before they get pregnant. IgG is found in the blood and tissues.

IgE is made in response to something that causes an allergy in people susceptible to allergies. Someone who has hay fever will make IgE to pollen, grass, mold, pet dander, and/or other specific materials that are called antigens. IgE combined with the antigen causes cells to release chemicals which lead to the symptoms of an allergy, like sneezing and a runny nose. IgE is found in mucous and small amounts can be measured in blood. The levels are higher in allergic individuals.

IgA is a first line of defense, in that it is found in the nose, eyes, lung and digestive tract. These antibodies attempt to stop a virus or bacteria from getting into the body. In celiac disease, IgA is mistakenly attacking the intestinal lining. In dermatitis herpetiformis, it is deposited in skin cells, where it does not belong. Because of the production of specific types of IgA in celiac disease, these antibodies can be measured to help diagnose the disease.

Some people do not have normal amounts of IgA in their bodies. This is a type of lowered immunity, although it is not severe. It is the most common type of immunodeficiency, affecting, for example, between 1:300 (1:800 people of European descent). However, individuals with low amounts of IgA are 10 to 20 times more likely to have celiac disease. Looking at it another way, it is estimated that at least 2.6% of people with celiac disease have low amounts of IgA.

This poses an obvious problem. It means that people with low IgA levels may test negative for IgA anti-tTG and EMA, the test used to screen for celiac disease. While there is an occasional person who does have positive tests despite very low IgA levels, most people with this deficiency test negative.

If a doctor suspects celiac disease and the screening tests are negative, there are a number of ways to proceed. Some may then measure the patient’s immunoglobulin levels. If IgA deficiency is present, IgG antibodies to tTG and EMA can be checked. Some studies have shown that these tests are not as conclusive or accurate as the IgA tests. If the suspicion of gluten intolerance is very high, intestinal biopsies should still be done and will show abnormalities if the person has celiac disease.

There are two ways to approach the problem of low IgA in celiac patients. One way is to measure serum IgA levels at the same time as a-tTG and EMA. People with low IgA and negative antibody tests for celiac disease would then be tested with a different blood test, such as IgG antibodies. The other way is to only measure total IgA in people suspected of celiac disease who have negative IgA antibody tests. If their IgA is low, other tests would then be done.

Obviously, a very good blood tests to screen people who are IgA deficient for celiac disease is needed. There is one test that may be able to do that. It measures IgG antibodies against “deamidated gliadin peptides.” Gliadin is a part of gluten that people with celiac disease react to. Tests for antibodies against gliadin itself have not been accurate. However, when the gliadin is treated a specific way, antibodies against the treated gliadin are more likely to be found. This test is called IgG-anti-dGli.

Some studies have shown that IgG-anti-dGli may not only be an accurate test in people with low IgA, but also in people with normal levels. The test is not readily available or used routinely at this point. It is possible that in the future, this may be one of the tests used to screen all people for celiac disease and to monitor response to a gluten-free diet.

If you and/or your doctor are very suspicious that you have celiac disease, and the standard tests are negative, you should ask if your IgA has been measured. If it hasn’t been, it should be. If it is low, other blood tests should be done, and biopsy should still be considered.

Dr. Anna Kaplan


Valletta, E, Fornaro, M, Pecori, S, Zanoni, G. Selective Immunoglobulin A Deficiency and Celiac Disease: Let’s Give Serology a Chance. Journal of Investigative Allergology and Clinical Immunology 2011; 21(3): 242-244.

Villalta, D, Tonutti, E, Prause, C, et al. IgG Antibodies against Deamidated Gliadin Peptides for Diagnosis of Celiac Disease in Patients with IgA Deficiency. 2010 Clinical Chemistry 56;3: 464–468.

Porter, RS, Kaplan, JL, editors. The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook. 2009. Merck & Co., Inc. Whitehouse Station, N.J.

Annual Inclusive Education Awards

I am forwarding you our call for nominations for the Annual Inclusive Education Wards with the hope that you will pass this along to families who are experiencing success with having their child included in a regular class. The nominations can be for either board of education and can be for a school, team, educator or principal that is demonstrating a belief in the principals of inclusion. 

Call for nomination word icon

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Sharon Ross
Education Liaison
Community Living Toronto
1645 Warden Ave.
Suite 101
Scarborough, M1R 5B3
phone: 416-438-1165 ext. 222
fax: 416-438-1183
e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

"Where choices change the lives of people with an intellectual disability"


Adding "pure non-hydrogenated coconut oil" to the diet

Please watch this video regarding adding "pure non-hydrogenated coconut oil" to the diet.

Besides raising HDL, which is good, it can also act like an antibiotic against a virus. But the reason I am drawing it to your attention is that it has been seen to have good results with dementia & Alzheimer's ... as well as schizophrenia, epilepsy, Parkinson's, ALS ... and Autism!

also info. seen at

Accessibility in Ontario casting notice

Milo Casting Inc. is seeking people with disabilities to participate in photo shoots to promote accessibility in Ontario.

Milo Casting Inc. is seeking males and females of all backgrounds, ages (18 years and over), and disabilities, both visible and non-visible, to promote accessibility in Ontario.


Audition Date: TBD (15 minutes commitment)

Shoot Date: Saturday April 21, 2012 or Saturday April 28, 2012

* Talent would only be required for 1 day

Those chosen for the campaign will be financially compensated

IF INTERESTED, PLEASE EMAIL This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. THE FOLLOWING: 




60 SUMACH ST / 2ND FLOOR / TORONTO, ON M5A 3J7 / T: 416 360 0336 / F: 416 360 0465
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1. Some of us have given up on social skills and don't care what we say or do.
2. We're not afraid to have a serious "meltdown" of our own.
3. We are tired and all the patience we have is for our kids.
4. We have a far shorter fuse for nonsense as a result of our responsibilities but a FAR thicker skin.
5. We can get you in a hold/lockdown position in less than 3.5 secs.
6. We can shoot you a look that would make a linebacker tremble in his boots.
7. Chances are it's been awhile since we've had a full night of sleep and that will give us a reason to plead insanity.
8. Our tolerance and patience is for our kids who didn't choose to have special needs, not for someone who CHOOSES to behave inappropriately and is ABLE to control their actions.
9. We're probably already on edge and it would be stupid to push us over.
10. We are sleep deprived and already defensive, and we spend all of our patience on our children, doctors, therapists, social workers and teachers, why would we waste an ounce of it on a total stranger?
11. We've had to fight from the moment of our child's birth so by the time you piss us off we're seasoned battlers and WILL win a war.
12. We devote our lives to our children and don't need more stress and people who don't understand our life.
13. Wherever there is a cub, there is a mama bear...We're always watching?


Questions about resources, education etc.

A family has contacted us from Florida. They are considering a move to Toronto. They have a son that is 6 years old with Down Syndrome. They have a lot of questions about resources, education etc. and would like to connect with other families that have a son or daughter in this age group. 

If any of our families are interested in speaking with this family by email. The persons name is Herbert Tapia and his personal email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please respond directly to his email and not DSAT.


PO Box 40039
Liberty Village PO
Toronto ON M5V 0K7

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Established in 1987