Information, research and training
We work to gather all the latest international research on Down syndrome and disseminate it to parents and professionals in the community.
We also link in with universities in Ireland to promote and support Down syndrome-specific research. Areas in which we are currently involved in research are parent’s experiences of early intervention, aspects of language disorder in school-aged children with Down syndrome, studying the outcomes of speech-and-language-led early intervention groups and training communication partners in the wider community to promote social inclusion.
Our Information Centre provides information to both parents and professionals in key areas related to Down syndrome.
We have specialists in health, early development, education, speech & language therapy, adult education and adult advocacy. Down Syndrome Ireland also commissions research, distributes publications and information packs and runs conferences and seminars for parents and professionals.
Speech and Language
We also host and run a special interest group for speech and language therapists who work with people with Down syndrome whether they work for the HSE, our branches or in private practise. The group provides Down syndrome specific professional development for therapists. We share new research, ideas and experiences to ensure that all therapists are aware of the specific needs of children with Down syndrome.
Health and Medical
Down Syndrome Ireland has worked for many years alongside the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Trinity College, Dublin and the National Children’s Hospital, Tallaght to carry out ongoing research within the area of Down syndrome so that both parents and medical professionals have access to the most up to date research and information on Down syndrome.
The Medical Management Guidelines for Children and Adolescents with Down syndrome in Ireland guidelines provide both parents and professionals advice on monitoring the health of babies and children with Down syndrome.
In 2013, Down Syndrome Ireland worked with clinicians in Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin to investigate the increased incidence of arthritis occurring amongst children with Down syndrome in Ireland. As part of this, Down Syndrome Ireland organised clinics in a number of our branches around the country so our young members could be screened for the condition. As a result of the initial findings, DSI teamed up with Arthritis Ireland and Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin to establish a Newman Fellowship in Down’s Arthritis (DA).* The results of the study were recently published and you can find out more here.