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Downs Syndrome?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by elvina, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Hi I hope someone out there can give me some help please. I home educate my 2 older children and we roughly base our work around the NC. My youngest will be starting formal education later this year and has Downs Syndrome. She is considered to be very able and I have been told by various Drs that she is at the higher end of the ability scale. Her development is pretty near normal in all areas apart from speech.
    I am starting to think about the form that her education will take. She already looks at flash cards etc daily which have both words and pictures and we use other learning resources too. Now I am thinking about how to develop her education later this year. My feeling is that we should continue with the flash cards and introduce phonics and pretty much to start school as I did with my younger two however taking the pace nice and slowly.
    I was hoping that any of you out there who teach children with DS could possibly give me some pointers.
    Any tips would be greatfully received.

    Many thanks
  2. wellingtonboot

    wellingtonboot New commenter

  3. Hi
    I have a number of children with a diagnosis of Down Syndrome in my class. We teach them the same way as our other SEN students (we are an SEN school) and use visual cues for them all. Reading can be a bit slower in shaping up, but comes on nicely and the same with speech.
    Do you have access to a speech and language therapist? if so they could possibly give you some ideas what to be putting into your curriculum.
    Hope it all goes well for you.
  4. R13

    R13 New commenter

    I'm sorry I just don't follow the logic here . . .you appear to be saying you plan to home educate and don't know what to teach. Why are you home educating if you don't know how to do it/
    That's a genuine question not a dig by the way
  5. My daugher-now nearly 17 - has downs syndrome. She learnt to read using flash cards/picture matching. her reading is now very good. Learning to read also helped make her speech clearer. Phonics doesn't seem to suit downs children-they learn by seeing the whole word rather than breaking it down. Check out the research at Downs Ed and good luck!
  6. Hi I already teach my older 2 and we use the NC as a base but as my youngest has DS I was wondering what teachers of children with DS do. My instinct tells me to go along the lines of my older 2 but at a slower pace but I wanted to know what other people do.

  7. The Downsed Trust website will be invaluable to you. You don't have to purchase special resources, many of the resources they recommend can be home made. As children with DS are good visual learners, everything you teach, talk about etc should be backed up with a visual reference e.g. makaton sign, photo, picture etc. This helps to understand, process and remember what you have just said. Teaching reading by the 'match, select, name' method is recommended. (It's true that phinics are difficult for children with DS). Numeracy activities can be supported by the use of Numicon or other visual methods. The key is repetition, repetition and repetition and also giving lots of opportunities to transfer or generalise skills. Hands on/practical activities also help the child to retain the info better - record what they have done with photos, use these to talk about 'past' experiences etc. Hope that helps.
  8. Sorry, should have said first of all that children with DS have a very specific learning profile and do not necessarily benefit from being taught in the same way as other children. Their needs (for differentiation) really are quite specific but luckily there has been a lot of research on what is helpful and what strategies work well. Good luck.
  9. Hi Many thanks for your reply.
    Yes we do see a speech and language therapist from time and time and we are using the See and Learn programme from the DS Educational Trust.
    Do you mind me asking please what you do with your children? I am inclined to the basics of the national curriculum with lots of practical stuff mixed in and always taking into account the visual aspects of learning for children with DS. Are there any workbooks etc that you use?
    Many thanks


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