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Downs Syndrome


Macca
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Hi all I wonder if you can help. I have a child coming to my Foundation stage class in September who has Downs Syndrome. They will be 3 in August so are young anyway but parents are insistent she comes to Nursery and I am sure it will be good for her. However, they are still in nappies with no inkling of toilet training on the horizon, are still crawling or walking only with the aid of a baby walker and are not talking other than making sounds. I have 21 kids and our class is manned by myself - a full time teacher and a Nursery nurse. At present there is no statement for this child as we have only recently learned that the parents want the child to come to us. We have no experience of this situation and wondered if anyone else had or could point us in the right direction to find out more.

 

Thanx in anticipation,

 

Julie x

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contact your LEA early years department straightaway, to arrange 1:1 funding, so the child has an assistant in place for her when she starts with you.We had a child with ASD who we needed help for and there was no problem getting the funding.Do you have somewhere where her nappies can be changed??How are you going to deal with disposing of them??We send used nappies home to the parents at the end of the session)........think about how this little ones induction is going to be planned...............is she coming in full time, or part time, and will you stagger this??Does she have speech therapy................and can the SALT come into the nursery to do this with her there?? Good luck, lots to think about!

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We have a little girl with Downs Syndrome starting with us in September also. We have had meetings with the parents and their portage worker who said we will get funding for 1 to 1 support worker. So we are in the process of recruiting someone and I am about to apply for the funding.

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Hi again and thanks for your mail! The child has physio, speech therpy and portage are involved. However the portage person(who is the head of service) is 'reluctant' and making it very difficult for us to access information. The statement referral has been submitted and we hve been told it will not go to panel until September and the portage person is now questioning why we may need more support as she believes the child wil be OK!! Obviously until this is resolved the head will not look to recruit another support assistant as we are a very small school and therefore budget is limited. We meet with the Ed Pshych next week but I am told that she has only just become involved with this child so her knowledge is limited to what others (nameley portage person) have told her.

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Gosh isn't it strange how experiences differ so widely. Our little girl will be 2 years 9 months when she starts with us. She has no speech, is beginning to learn sign language and is standing and starting to take steps I believe. . She is also in nappies but then so are quite a lot of children when they start. She also has diabetes. I am not aware that she has a statement but will ask the portage worker when I see her this week.

 

We are a village pre-school. As I understand it, I have to submit a funding form to our LEA who then seek advise from the other professionals looking after her, namely portage but from experience this doesn't take very long when the child is already known to them.

 

Can you contact the LEA to seek advise to at least get the ball rolling? I speak to an SEN case worker/administrator.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I teach a reception class and have had a child with Down Syndrome this year. I don't think he is close to readiness for toilet training yet. At a County training session for teachers with Down Syndrome children I met a teacher with a year 4 or 5 child who is still in nappies. Next year I have another boy starting school who is beginning to show awareness of when he is soiling himself, voicing and signing to an adult when it happens. His mother is going to make a concerted effort on training over the summer, leaving him bare as much as possible to increase his awareness. County advisors explained that Downs children often have very poor muscle tone as a result of the condition and readiness for toilet training will be linked to how good/poor their muscle tone is. Interestingly my new boy looks far fitter and more toned that the child I have been teaching this year. You may find it useful to contact the Sarah Duffyn centre which is in Southsea. They do masses of research into the condition and educating Downs Children. I found doing the first 4 levels of Makaton training (a 2 day course) very useful indeed too. Sorry I don't know much about funding as both the children I have dealt with have come into school with statements. I am happy to ask for advice from the feeder nursery senco if you would like me to.

 

 

Good luck.

 

AOB

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I have had a girl who has Downs Syndrome in my preschool since she was 2 yrs old. We just celebrated her 4th Birthday this weekend. When she started she was already using the toilet, her mother started sitting her on the loo from the age of 18mths.

She has some knowledge of makaton but we have never used it in preschool apart from signing with songs, she speaks sentences now ( plus some Italian, her mothers home language), she is fully independent within the setting.

She has had input from Portage, her immune system is a little weak thus she is prone to continuous colds, her hip joints are very flexible and we have worked with developing her balance skills, her mobility has steadily improved since being with us. She is now fully mobile, able to use the trampoline, go on long walks etc. We have never had extra staffing or financial support for her. We have either 2 or 3 staff on duty depending on numbers and have a group of children ( up to 24 per day) aged 2-4 yrs.

 

Mother is a vegan so her girls diet is quite different from other childrens . We have to keep an eye on her accessing the snack bar, no milk, dairy, meat, sugar etc. mother provides snacks and lunch for her. She will not be statemented. Our only real difficulty is that since birth she has had a lot of attention from all people she meets, she has the 'cute' factor, and this has, through experience taught her that she is worthy of undivided sole ADULT attention at all times. This is the area we are working on helping her become less dependent on adult attention and more able to play on her own or with peers.

 

So from just a few replies we can see that a child with Downs Syndrome has various levels of INDIVIDUAL needs, our main information has come from the parent. We have had PEP and health/care meetings with other professionals but I hate to say this, they tend to 'read from the manuals' rather than look at the individual childs strengths and areas to develop. One thing at present that is being overlooked is the mothers well being, she is currently feeling very depressed, resentful of the loss of her own identity as a person through bringing up a child with Downs Syndrome on her own. She is away from family ( all in Italy) and has a small social network of friends who are all busy. She has not worked for 3 years but is a highly intellectual person who is now feeling that she will never have a life of her on.

 

I would say, find out as much as you can from the parent and go from there.

 

Peggy

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