Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Down's Syndrome


 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey All

 

Hope you are having a good holiday so far. I really havent switched off yet hence writing a post on here, lol.

So I am just wanting/hoping for some advice, I am a reception teacher in a large primary school in Suffolk, we have 3 intakes which are taken termly. I have 25 children due in the Autumn term, 1 of which has Down's Syndrome and is working at a 12/18 month year old. I am just a little bit lost and scared how I am going to give them the best education possible. The parents do not want him to go into a 'special school' so he is currently staying in mainstream however we are only having him in mornings. We are getting funding aswel.

I just really worry as we have 2 classrooms, a large activity area and a large outside area, running as a free-flow area. I feel he is going to get lost and become volatile especailly as we can take upto 90 children by the end of the year?!

 

Any advice or support, what resources or strategies might work?!

I have 4 more high profile children to add to this and its me, and 2nursery nurses but when the next intake come in the Spring term it will be just 1 nursery nurse!! Argh :o

 

No worries if you can't help lol!

 

Thanks

Claire

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Couldn't 'read and run'.

 

If the parents are sure that he'll cope in mainstream, what strategies do they already have in place to help you?

Has he attended preschool - can they help at all with anything - have they handed any info on?

 

Sorry - lots of questions and not much help! We have had a child with Down Syndrome in the past, and her coping mechanism was to stay close to adults until we scaffolded her into a small group of girls. She was great fun and we missed her when she left. She wasn't as 'severe' as your little boy, but it's still a challenge!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Claire

Just wondering what other information you have been given? Has the child attended a preschool setting? The range of ability of children with Downs Syndrome can vary hugely.

Some children will use an alternative method of communication, such as PECS or Makaton. It's good practice to incorporate signing into your everyday routines if so so that all the children will learn ways to communicate with this child.

I would just advise you to have a very open mind about the challenges that this child will face as every child with Downs Syndrome is unique. Have you got further information about why this child may become "volatile"

sorry to have asked so many questions, just feel i need a bit more info to offer advice :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey

 

Sorry been a bit busy and just got back to checking the replies.

 

The child is EAL and has been taking part in a pre-school 2 mornings a week, they have done a 'hand over' but hasnt really helped as not much was said. They are using the PECS system and are on stage 1, we have a specialist coming in for this to train us as it is new to the school and so far no one is trained!!!

I visited the child in the setting and they do not like to interact with children or adults however I am hoping to change this as we are very good at 'nurture' in our setting. The child in question was throwing wooden bricks at children's heads and in the small observation we carried out they did this 3times. They then visited us for half an hour and again the throwing took place, they threw a helmet at another child and then parts of a train track....

 

I know I need to be openen minded but it jus worries me as our area is so large and I do not want the child to be lost. I don't want to fail the child or the parents as they obv feel our school will be good for their child!

 

thanks for the replies so far

x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry - your message is leaving me confused who is "they", in the context of "they do not like to interact" and "they did this 3 times" in our setting. "They then visited us for half an hour and again the throwing took place they threw a helmet at another child etc.

 

Are you talking about the pre-school staff or is there more than one Downs Syndrome child, or are the pre-school children throwing things at each other?

 

I think I would make an assumption that you were not impressed with the way the pre-school are currently working with this child, and indeed the other children in their care. Take all the help you can in getting training in place. Be positive with this child your interactions will make all the difference as you say you are very nurturing and make a home visit as soon as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lol sorry for the confusion, I am talking about the child but used 'they' I am tired and it was the way I was typing!

 

To be honest I wasnt impressed with the preschool/nursery as the childs 1-2-1 was actually a keyworker for a group of children so they werent really a 1-2-1 as the child really needed, hence the lack of interaction!! Are their any simple sensory items that I can buy which can help the child durin 'quiet/calming' periods?!

 

x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say if he is working at a 12/18 month age keeping him quiet and calm when required is going to be difficult and down to distraction techniques, possibly away from the main group to begin with and then gradually introducing him to whole group times and when he becomes distracting take him off on his own again. I would have thought that being with a special adult, maybe having a few special natural objects in a treasure basket to explore which he only has access to at specific times as a reward/distraction might help and obviously nothing that he can "lob" at other children which might hurt!!

 

Do hope everything works out - keep posting in September and let everyone know how you are getting on - real stories help us all have a greater understanding to help with inclusion don't they.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I had a downs girl in my class last year, although admittedly it was in year 2 but had knowledge of her throughout. I assume he is fully funded, if so the adult employed for him will be able to take him when he is unable to cope. People with downs tend to learn routines, my auntie also has downs so have grown up knowing about it. If when you want all the children to sit on the carpet he does it for a short period before doing something else with his adult then this will become his routine and will know that this is expected. I don't know much about PECs - we used makaton symbols for her both in signing and the picture versions for her timetable. We also had regular support from outreach from the nearest special school. This was invaluable to get a more 'expert' opinion. We did have to make sure our area was secure because she could run quickly and has escaped from the juniors to come and see me this year!!!! But the other children loved her and enjoyed 'mothering' her. It taught me a lot about the other children - some would treat her as a 3 year old while others would think of her as more of an equal. A few others wanted nothing to do with her but the vast majority were fantastic. My biggest piece of advice is to remember his developmental age and treat him in that way then you will have a great time. If you think of him as a 4 or 5 year old, you will get majorly stressed!!!! I hope that helps. My auntie is quirky but hilarious as is the girl I had in my class!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My brother has downsyndrome and has been through the mainstream education process. He had a brilliant support worker and this is key in making this work.

What I will say about Downs people is that by nature they are kind and loving characters. I have been around a lot (and I mean a lot) and not one of them has ever shown agressive tendencies, unless they were very unhappy or frustrated. I would suggest that if you are witnessing this behaviour then this child is not getting what he needs.

My second piece of advice to you is, if possible decide on your routine before he starts school because downs children love routines and once a routine has been set, purposefully or not it will be very hard to break this cycle. Ask yourself, do you want him to come in with the other children? Do you want him to register in the same way and sit on the carpet etc. The first part of his day will need to be structured from day one to avoid bad habits being made. Perhaps a job that he can have every morning would be a very good idea to factor into his routine. If you don't want him to join the other children have you considered using this time for sensory, massage type activities to calm him before his day begins.

You may find the downsyndrome organisation helpful - google them.

My brother used Makaton is his younger years. He can now speak very well and is taking part in the Special Olympics this week.

My life has been enhanced greatly by being around downs people, so whatever turn things take for you, remember to enjoy it too because they are very special people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hey everyone!

 

Was just wondering if there were any good books that help to explain downs syndrome to the rest of the class (4/5yr olds tho)!! It is a really tricky idea explaining and stopping them calling him a baby etc plus they get scared when he hurts them or throws things?!

 

Thanks in advance

x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey everyone!

 

Was just wondering if there were any good books that help to explain downs syndrome to the rest of the class (4/5yr olds tho)!! It is a really tricky idea explaining and stopping them calling him a baby etc plus they get scared when he hurts them or throws things?!

 

Thanks in advance

x

 

 

My Friend Isabelle is a good book, see link. Several other books came up too.

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Friend-Isabelle...6776&sr=1-1

 

We had a lovely little girl last year who also liked to throw things, I think though could be wrong this is a Downs trait. Our little girl had a support worker who used signing to interact with her. Her support worker has stayed with her in school (although she does have another health issue). The support worker did suceed in improving throwing using distraction, giving her opportunities to throw soft things (she had a ball pool at home) and removing the game and signing 'finished' if she did throw. Had to be very alert at snack time otherwise drinks would be thrown.

 

She was very affectionate, loved splashing in the water tray (could also be linked to a possible trajectory schema too, just like the throwing. Perhaps you could consider other opportunities for your child to follow this interest.

 

Hope this helps.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Did anyone have a specific timetable for their children or was it quite free and child led?!

 

I wanted my 1-2-1 to allow the child to choose and just make sure they are aware of what we offer in our setting to stretch their interests, with only snack and toiletting at set intervals however my SENCO wants a timetable of what the 1-2-1 does?!

 

Argh

 

Claire

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanted my 1-2-1 to allow the child to choose and just make sure they are aware of what we offer in our setting to stretch their interests, with only snack and toiletting at set intervals however my SENCO wants a timetable of what the 1-2-1 does?!

 

We have a visual timetable on a velco strip. Our child registers onto it when she arrives and is free to choose like all the other children. At the 'set' times-snack-outdoor-carpet-home she removes the appropriate picture from her velcro timetable and takes it to the area where she sticks it to a corresponding sign picture.The 1-2-1 follows her lead sometimes alongside especially water, sand, bricks or from a step back.We have learnt when she flicks out her straw she means she's had enough milk but she can't vocalise it so we remove the milk. Last week we had a step forward when I had 'hey you' and 'come 'ere' directed at me across the room very loudly :o magic!! She removed my glasses (investigating I think) and when I said no she did the sad sign and went to sit on the timeout spot. The 1-2-1 keeps a diary after each session on what her behaviour has been like and what shes enjoyed so we can react.We have a busy box and magic bag which we use with her and I've created 'cosy corner' for my key group so she has somewhere attractive if she needs calming thats not the cloakroom bench.

 

Our goal is establishing some interaction/relationships with other children who are tending to ignore her or avoid her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)