See and Learn

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 educators and parents provide young children with additional support and practice they need to learn language.

We are delighted to be able to supply branches with the See and Learn Programmes for use with younger members, thanks to the funding of HB Fundays 2020. We have ordered a full set of See and Learn Resources for each branch, and are expecting delivery in the next few weeks, read the latest update about the See and Learn kits for branches in our news section.

See and Learn in action

Here is the beautiful Ameliya learning language development using See and Learn with our Early Years Specialist Olive Buckeridge. Olive and Ameliya are showing us how the programme is presented to young children using visual stimulation, verbal repetition and positive interaction.

This year, we aim to put a See and Learn pack in every participating pre-school in the country that has a child with Down syndrome attending and provide See and Learn packs to each of our 25 local branches.

We are also evaluating the impact of See and Learn on children with Down syndrome. That way, we can lobby the Department of Children and Youth Affairs to get See and Learn included in the Access and Inclusion Model (AIM) for children with Down syndrome so that the programme is fully sustainable in the long term.

A parent’s perspective

“In the early days, our children’s comprehension is rarely reflected in their spoken communication; which leads to them being underestimated in terms of learning and potential, which unfortunately as we’ve seen in the past, impacts on their entire life. Most times, children with Down syndrome know the words and are trying to say them clearly, but it takes quite some time to perfect the pronunciation – so whilst Mum’s and Dad’s know the difference between ‘juice’ and ‘shoes’; others communicating with our kids might struggle.

“But thankfully, so much is changing.  Early intervention works.  See and Learn works – we’ve been using it at home for two years and see the results. It’s been life-changing,” says Mum Deirdre, whose son Ronan is 4.

The story so far…

Since September 2019, we have delivered See and Learn training across 15 sites to more than 600 parents and early years educators to support children in their language development.

We will bring See and Learn training to more parents and educators in 2020/2021, we will keep you posted when and how this may happen.