K. Leigh Alfrey was 3 months old in 1985 when she, her parents and older sister moved to the Bay Area from southern California. One reason for the move was there were no organizations down south that provided direct services for children, like her, who had Down syndrome.
Her mother Layne discovered a robust community in the East Bay supporting families with a child with Down syndrome and quickly joined a young mothers’ support group.
“They provided us with a wealth of information and guidance, a place to talk, share ideas and best practices. We gained a real sense of security knowing we were part of a community and weren’t walking alone,” Layne Alfrey said.
As K. Leigh grew, the Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area (DSCBA), located in Danville, provided help navigating the developmental delays associated with the genetic disorder, including exercises to boost low muscle tone, classes to improve gross and fine motor skills, and referral to a speech therapist. K. Leigh went to public school and was in full inclusion classes from kindergarten through high school. In addition, she went to weekly after-school classes (now called THRIVE) with her peers.