Our History and Mission:

Going Back to the Future


For those of you we're welcoming back, you will notice the change in the Upside of Downs' focus: no longer are we developing nor carrying out fundraising events nor hounding you for donations (the one-woman staff plus her family's frequent relocations/job transfers make it too difficult to maintain that focus). The focus now is away from money and back to our original mission -  fellowship and sharing experiences with others. The Upside of Downs is  now a place to gather, an on-line "family room" where we all can be of help to  each other while caring for and about those with special needs. Click the Facebook icon, visit, join the group "under the umbrella"  - the Upside of Downs Umbrella.​​

Founded in 1998 by parents, the Upside of Downs is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization serving thousands of special needs individuals and those who care for them. Federal Tax ID#38-3375526

It was back in 1998 when a small group of parents with their special needs babies had just begun their journey and quite by accident found each other. They gathered in each others' family rooms to share their concerns, questions, experiences; to share their ups and their downs in taking care of their little ones.  The small group called itself the Upside of Downs.  From its humble beginnings to present day, the Upside of Downs has always been focused on being of service to those with special needs. 

During its nearly 20 years in operation, the Upside of Downs has grown, deepening its commitment and widening its reach. As a 501(c)(3)non-profit charity it has reached and served thousands of individuals with special needs, given financial support to various special needs programs, and assisted a number of important scientific research projects through their fundraising events over the years. This small, family run organization is proud of its long history of service to others on the journey. 

BUT NOW NO MORE FUNDRAISING!  NO MORE ASKING FOR MONEY!  WE'VE GONE BACK TO THE GOOD OL' DAYS WHERE FOLKS GATHER TOGETHER IN FAMILY ROOM TYPE FELLOWSHIP TO TALK, SHARE - ON-LINE, ON FACEBOOK!!! BACK TO THE FUTURE!!  The long ago small group of journeyers is much larger now because it includes ALL who've impacted the lives (in all stages of life from the very young to the very old) of those with special needs. The Upside of Downs now is a gathering place not just for parents, but for sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, daughters, sons, cousins, friends, teachers, teachers' assistants, doctors, nurses, dentists, lawyers, employers, neighbors, coaches, faith leaders - EVERYBODY who ​​​​is in on the journey.