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Down Syndrome Children In Mainstream Schools


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I am wondering if anyone can help me. I have a delightful little girl in my reception class who has Down Syndrome. She has settled well into school but we are now stuck for ideas for valuable resources and activities that we can provide for and undertake with her. I would appreciate any advice on teaching down syndrome children and where i can get valuable and useful resources.

 

Ladylou

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Hi

I am currently supporting a downs syndrome boy in my class (foundation).

Are there any particular areas which you feel she needs help with?

Downs children are very visual learners and will often learn best by copying others and using visual clues (visual timetables, matching games, lotto games etc are all great). They tend to respond well to structure and routine, but have a shorter concentration span than others their age. If she has low muscle tone she will benefit from extra activities to develop motor skills. A small steps approach works well. Despite most Downs children having speech and language difficulties they are very good communicators (signing and hand gestures are beneficial) but they are generally not able to think, reason and remember to the same extent as their peers. Many downs children have some degree of learing loss (may be on and off)

As said before the Downs syndrome website is very good.

Supporting children with Downs Syndrome is also a good publication (David Fulton Publishers (Hull Learning Services)

Hope this helps a little - I have some resources etc which I can email if you want but let me know what sort of thing you want and what stage she is at developmentally for that area.

Jo

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RANT: I know this might be a bit 'PC' but I believe current best practice/advice from the Down Syndrome website is not to use the term 'downs' as this has become quite a negative, derogatory comment - we should always try to refer to the children as a boy/girl with down syndrome.

 

I had a girl with down syndrome last year in my Reception Class and my advice would be set your expectations high! Really high - although every child is obviously different!

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I agreee with Bungalow - have high expectations. I taught a girl with Down Syndrome in Reception for the last 2 years (she had 2 years in Reception as her birthday is mid August, and it was more appropriate for her needs. She is now in my Y1/R class, following the Y1 curriculum. She started off with 10 spoken words, and many more Makaton signs. She now speaks in complete sentences and follows instructions well. The adult support that she has has focussed on motor control (beads, sand, pedalling, climbing, sliding, and now we are using a handwriting scheme which focusses on upper case letters as they are easier to form - 'Write without tears' We also managed to obtain a computer with Big Keys keyboard form the ICT / SEN department of the county. Her adult has supported her in all the usual play scenarios in a Reception classroom (focussing lots on role play areas and dressing the class teddy and taking him for 'adventures' which is a favourite). Another resource that we have used is 'TIme to talk' a social communication programme which encourages good listening and communicating. Jolly phonics worked well wiht the girl in my class and she is now able to blend and segment CCVC and CVCC words, as well as read at an appropriate Year 1 level. NUmicon apparatus help with number work.

Basically it depends on the level that the little girl your class is working at- lots of play based experiences with good adult modelling verbal and Makaton language and appropriate social skills.

Marie

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Hi Jo, Thanks for your advice. It would be great if you could email me some resources as anything would help. Do you have anything on developing fine motor control? Also any ideas on developing her motor control would be great. Any basic numeracy ideas would be brilliant too. My email is liz.evans@bentley.hants.sch.uk

Thank you once again. Liz

 

 

Hi

I am currently supporting a downs syndrome boy in my class (foundation).

Are there any particular areas which you feel she needs help with?

Downs children are very visual learners and will often learn best by copying others and using visual clues (visual timetables, matching games, lotto games etc are all great). They tend to respond well to structure and routine, but have a shorter concentration span than others their age. If she has low muscle tone she will benefit from extra activities to develop motor skills. A small steps approach works well. Despite most Downs children having speech and language difficulties they are very good communicators (signing and hand gestures are beneficial) but they are generally not able to think, reason and remember to the same extent as their peers. Many downs children have some degree of learing loss (may be on and off)

As said before the Downs syndrome website is very good.

Supporting children with Downs Syndrome is also a good publication (David Fulton Publishers (Hull Learning Services)

Hope this helps a little - I have some resources etc which I can email if you want but let me know what sort of thing you want and what stage she is at developmentally for that area.

Jo

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