Haydée De Paula
Haydée has been a DSNMC member (formerly Parents of Children with DS, or PODS) since 1988. Originally from Brazil, Haydée lives in Bethesda with her husband Ramon (a NASA Engineer) and her oldest son, Ramon (38, with Down syndrome, a US Government employee for 17 years). Her youngest son, Marcus Vinícius (a Designer and Light Artist) lives with his wife Tess (a Growth Strategist) in New York.
Haydée served as the Board Secretary and as the PODS Board Liaison with The Arc Montgomery County until the group became a 501(c)(3) organization. She was also part of the New Families Outreach Committee, for families who speak Portuguese, and a member of the Professional Outreach Committee. She created and was a leader of the Tools for Schools workshops, a collaborative program of DSNMC, The Arc Montgomery County, the Autism Society, Montgomery County Chapter, and the Partnership for Extraordinary Minds. Haydée feels honored to serve on the Board of DSNMC, once more, now as a member of the Education and Step Up Walk Committees, Grupo Latino, and serving as a resource person.
Haydée holds a BA in Psychology, a MS in Early Childhood Education, and a Ph.D. in Education. A former Kindergarten teacher in Brazil, she has been a catechist for more than 34 years (32 of them at the Archdiocese of Washington). She was a MCPS Special Education Chair and volunteer throughout her sons’ school years, a trained Boy Scouts Leader (both her sons are Eagle Scouts), and a volunteer in all her sons’ many programs. Haydée worked for over 24 years as an advocate and the Family Services Liaison at The Arc Montgomery County where she was also the Education Committee Liaison, Sibshops facilitator, and a co-founder of Transition Times, a collaborative program with MCTransitions and PCR (where she now volunteers for Transition Times).