Education professionals

Information, help and advice for education professionals working with children and teenagers with Down syndrome

In this section, you will find information on upcoming education conferences, a list of publications and useful resources and links to the relevant team members who can assist education professionals working with children and teenagers with Down syndrome.

  • Education conferences

    Down Syndrome Ireland run a number of education conferences throughout the year for education professionals working with both primary and secondary level students.

    Due to the current pandemic we have paused these events – we have however created a new Online Seminar section on our site to support teachers and parents with a number of key points regarding the various educational stages for children with Down syndrome

    Please contact us on 01-5632450 or email us at info@downsyndrome.ie for more information or if you would like to be kept informed about upcoming education conferences.

  • Online Education Seminars

    The DSI online educational seminars have been developed by three members of our Member Support Team – Nicola Hart (Head of Member Support); Olive Buckeridge (Early Years Specialist) and Fidelma Brady (Education Specialist).

    Below you will find seminars available on the following topics:

    • Down syndrome & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – An Overview
    • Down Syndrome & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – An Overview of Language & Behaviour
    • Educational Programmes for Children with Ds & ASD – Part 1 
    • Educational Programmes for Children with DS & ASD – Part 2
    • Educational Programmes for Children with DS & ASD – Part 3
    • Primary Student Information Presentation
    • Post Primary Student Information Presentation
    • Literacy & Numeracy at Primary School
    • In- Class Behaviour Management
    • Specific Learning Needs of the Student with Down Syndrome
    • Pathway through Junior Cycle
    • Managing the Transition from Primary to Post Primary School
    • Options & Pathways through Senior Cycle
    • Accessing the Curriculum – Differentiation of Work
    • Numeracy Acquiring Basic Maths Skills
    • Using Numicon as a Resource in Teaching Numeracy
    • Strategies and Supports for Children Transitioning to Mainstream Primary School
    • Language & Communication
    • Managing Vision & Hearing Issues
    • Introduction to Behaviour 
    • Mental Well Being 

     

    Each one will provide you with a brief overview of the topics mentioned.

     

    DSI Seminar: Down syndrome & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – An Overview

     

     

    DSI Seminar: Down Syndrome & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) – An Overview of Language & Behaviour

    This is an introduction to supporting students with Down Syndrome & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in an educational setting, which will be useful for teachers and parents. Further information can be found regarding research by the National Down syndrome society on the topic of Dual Diagnosis of Down syndrome and Autism  – you may also wish to read this news item from Down Syndrome Education International on the Difficulties with diagnosis.

     

    DSI Seminar: Educational Programmes for Children with Ds & ASD – Part 1

     

     

    DSI Seminar: Educational Programmes for Children with DS & ASD – Part 2

     

     

    DSI Seminar: Educational Programmes for Children with DS & ASD – Part 3

     

     

    Primary Student Information Presentation

    This presentation gives an overview of Down syndrome and is geared towards students at middle and senior primary levels. An additional document provides teacher notes and background information.

     

    Post Primary Student Information Presentation

    This presentation gives an overview of Down syndrome and is geared towards students at the post-primary level. Additional documents provide teacher notes and background information; a student information handout; and details of a link to an optional YouTube video clip which can be shown in addition to the main presentation.

     

    DSI Seminar: Literacy & Numeracy at Primary School

    This presentation will give an overview of approaches to literacy and numeracy for children with Down syndrome at primary school. It will be useful for both parents and teachers.

     

    DSI Seminar: In-Class Behaviour Management

    This presentation provides information for educators and family members on understanding, changing and teaching behaviour, both in school and home settings.

     

    DSI Seminar: Specific Learning Needs of the Student with Down syndrome

    This presentation gives an overview of the specific cognitive or learning profile typical of children with Down syndrome and will be of use to both parents and teachers.

     

    DSI Seminar: Pathway through Junior Cycle

    This presentation outlines possible options for children with Down syndrome as they start the post-primary stage of their education journey. Topics addressed include subject choices and the L2LP learning programme. It will be of use to both parents and teachers.

     

    DSI Seminar: Managing the Transition from Primary to Post Primary School

    This presentation outlines suggested preparation and planning strategies to ensure the smooth transition of pupils from primary to post primary school. It will be of use to both parents and teachers.

     

    DSI Seminar: Options & Pathways through Senior Cycle

    The Options and Pathways through Senior Cycle presentation gives an overview of the Senior Cycle at Post Primary school in its current format and discusses the options available for students with SEN.

     

    DSI Seminar: Accessing the Curriculum – Differentiation of Work

    This presentation outlines suggested ways of adapting teaching and learning enabling the student with Down syndrome to participate in the curriculum with their peers. It will be useful for both parents and teachers

     

    DSI Seminar: Numeracy Acquiring Basic Maths Skills

    This presentation outlines the suggested stages to be followed when developing a numeracy programme for children with Down syndrome.

     

    DSI Seminar: Using Numicon as a Resource in Teaching Numeracy

    This presentation gives an overview of the Numicon programme, when used as a visual, multi-sensory and ‘hands-on’ resource in supporting children to acquire numeracy skills.

    DSI Seminar: Strategies and Supports for Children Transitioning to Mainstream Primary School

     

    DSI Seminar: Language & Communication

    This presentation is about the speech, language and communication issues that may arise with students who have Down syndrome. It is likely to be useful for education professionals and parents. Further information on supporting speech and language development is available.

     

    DSI Seminar: Managing Vision & Hearing Issues

    This presentation is about the visual and hearing difficulties that students with Down syndrome may experience, and how you might need to make changes in the classroom. This will be useful for parents and teachers – further support information on hearing and vision can be found on our site. 

     

    DSI Seminar: Introduction to Behaviour

    This presentation is about understanding common behavioural issues that can arise with children who have Down syndrome, and taking steps to address behaviours that interfere with learning. You can also look at the National Council for Special Education’s resources for ‘Promoting Learning and Behaviour at home’ for a parent of a child in Primary School.

     

    DSI Seminar: Mental Well Being

    This is a short presentation focusing on the elements needed to support mental wellbeing and the additional challenges that might be faced by students who have Down syndrome. It is likely to be particularly relevant for people working with students in the later stages of primary school, in post-primary school and with young adults.

  • Pre-school educators

    Learning to talk is a particular challenge for most children with Down syndrome. Difficulties with understanding and using language present obstacles in daily life and can be a major source of frustration.

    See and Learn is an evidence based, structured teaching programme which teaches speech, language and reading skills in small steps for children with Down syndrome up to 6 years of age. 

    The programme is designed to help parents and educators provide young children with the additional support and practice they need to learn language.

    We are investing in the programme with funds raised through our HB Fundays campaign this year.

    During 2020, we want to put a See and Learn pack in every participating pre-school in the country that has a child with Down syndrome attending as well as provide training to early years educators.

    You can find out more about the programme and upcoming workshop dates here.

    If you would like to participate in the programme, you will receive See and Learn training and also a free See and Learn kit. Please contact Olive Buckridge, Early Years Specialist by email at olive@downsyndrome.ie.  

  • Useful resources

    Down Syndrome Ireland Education Officer Fidelma Brady: 01 4266500 or info@downsyndrome.ie.
    Lámh Signs Ireland | Communication Augmentation Sign System Ltd
    The Better Start Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) is a model of supports designed to ensure that children with disabilities can access the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Programme.
    Numicon is a multi-sensory maths teaching programme using Numicon maths shapes in a series of practical teaching activities.
    National Council for Special Education
    Special Education Support Service
    National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS)
    Down Syndrome Education International is an international resource offering information and online courses for teachers of children with Down syndrome
    The Institute of Child Education and Psychology Europe provide online courses up to Masters Level in special educational needs and positive psychology.
    The National Behaviour Support Service (NBSS) provides support and expertise to partner post-primary schools on issues related to behaviour.

  • Sample differentiated materials for second level students

    The need for support in differentiating materials for students with Down syndrome has been identified by parents, teachers and other educators as the syllabus for second level subjects – as presented in current textbooks and materials – is beyond the level of comprehension and reading ability of many students with Down syndrome.

    We have developed booklets which show differentiated segments for a number of subjects: Home EconomicsEnglishScienceHistoryGeography and Civil, Social and Political Education (CSPE).

    Each booklet offers a number of ‘sample lessons’.

    Additional sample lessons in the form of PowerPoint presentations are available for Science (Balanced Diet) and Home Economics (‘Home Baking’, ‘Milk, Cheese & Eggs’ and ‘The Teeth’)

    They will help teachers provide suitable materials of an appropriate level for teenagers with Down syndrome resulting in better learning outcomes and more inclusion in the classroom.

    Our Introductory Booklet has information on Individual Education PlansStrategies for Learning and Teaching, a Behaviour Checklist and information on related issues such as Hearing and Vision.

  • Information and Advice booklets

    Supporting Children with Down syndrome in Primary School

    Getting ready for Post Primary School – My Workbook

    Supporting Students with Down syndrome transition from Primary to Post Primary School

    Supporting students with Down syndrome in Post Primary School

    Supporting Students with Down syndrome in Special School

    These booklets were written thanks to support from the Scheme to Support National Organisations, funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Affairs.

     

     

     

     

     

  • Contact us

    Our Education Officer Fidelma Brady is on hand to provide support, information, advice and training for schools and teachers to assist them in the provision of appropriate education for children and young people with Down syndrome. She is available to support children with Down syndrome through their education journey from primary, post primary and special school.

    She can also provide advice and information at each stage of educational transition and when difficulties arise.

    Our Regional Resource Officers work with some of our branches. They provide additional support in their community for professionals working with children and adults with Down syndrome in their respective areas.

    Please contact us on 01 4266500 or email us at info@downsyndrome.ie if you would like to get in touch or for more information.

Downloads

Supporting children with Down syndrome in primary school

This booklet is intended to be a brief summary of likely learning issues along with practical advice and suggestions.

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Getting ready for Post Primary School – My Workbook

A very useful tool to help ease the transition from primary to post primary school is preparing a ‘Getting Ready for Post Primary School – My Workbook’. Print off this workbook and personalise it with information, pictures and other useful tips and it can be used to prepare students for the move.

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Supporting Students with Down syndrome transition from primary to post primary school

The move from primary to post primary school can often be difficult for any student. For a student with Down syndrome, that bit of extra thought, planning and preparation will help ease this transition – to the benefit of both the new arrival and the school. Our Supporting Students with Down syndrome transition from primary to post primary school booklet outlines some simple initiatives and practical steps teachers and parents can take to support students.

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Supporting students with Down syndrome in post primary school

Our Supporting students with Down syndrome in post primary school booklet provides educators and parents alike with information and advise on how to help students with Down syndrome thrive in mainstream education settings. There is information about Down syndrome, about the learning profile and about various issues which might interfere with a student’s ability to access the curriculum. Topics covered include literacy; numeracy; movement, sport and leisure; managing behaviour and social and emotional development. It also provides a pathway to Junior Cycle. With each chapter, there are suggestions of practical, manageable ways to help.

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Supporting Students with Down syndrome in Special Schools

Our Supporting students with Down syndrome in special schools booklet provides parents and educators with information and advise on how to help students with Down syndrome thrive in special education settings. It also provides suggestions for intervention for children with a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

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Including Me

The physical environment plays an important part in creating inclusive early childhood care and education settings. The physical environment includes toys, art materials, wall displays, books, and dolls. Positive, visible depictions of children with Down syndrome in the environment are essential to support their inclusion and meaningful participation. This short children’s book ‘Including Me’ was created by Graiguecullen Parish Childcare Centre. Having books like this (which can be handmade very easily) in your book corner provide opportunities for discussion, and support children’s identity.

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Including children with Down syndrome in early childhood care and education settings

This booklet is a useful resource that you can give to your childcare service. This booklet is useful regardless of whether your child attends a mainstream childcare service/preschool or a specialist service.

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Transition from pre-school to primary school

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Including teenagers with Down syndrome in your secondary school

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Guidelines for post-primary schools supporting students with special educational needs in mainstream schools

The Department of Education and Skills has produced a booklet entitled Guidelines for Post-primary schools Supporting Students with Special Educational Needs in Mainstream Schools.

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Guidelines for primary schools supporting pupils with special educational needs in mainstream schools

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Communication Information Document

Communication acts as a bridge to engagement and, ultimately, strong parent partnerships. Once parents and teachers communicate with each other, they can work together to help students reach their academic potential.

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Communication Log Cover Page for Primary

Parent – Teacher Daily Communication Log Book

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Log Sheet Template for Primary

A useful communications log for tracking and documenting daily updates with a child in a Primary School setting.

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Communication Log Cover Page for Post-Primary

A communications record for teachers to use.

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Log Sheet Template for Post Primary

A useful communications log for tracking and documenting daily updates with a child in a Post Primary School setting.

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