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AN EXPLORATION OF THE ISSUES IN MEETING THE NEEDS OF DOWNS SYNDROME

Issues Identified:

Adult’s Perception – Teacher,  Nursery, Staff Peers

  • Social Behaviours
  • Use of LSA
  • Independence
  • ‘Babying’
  • Child’s response to this
  • Keeping Child Back
  • Separating – Not Inclusion

Parental Expectations:

  • Of SLT’s Service NHS
  • Compare to others Services (Private)
  • Weekly ‘Specialist SLT’
  • Very vocal group of parents
  • Tight knit group.
  • View of parents as to SLT Therapeutic role.
  • Access to Internet resources that are potentially ‘Unhelpful’
  • ‘to Fix their child’s speech’

Transition Issues:

  • Training of Nursery Staff
  • Lack of knowledge of how to support development & learning.
  • It works when there is transition by meeting & sharing knowledge.
  •  Access to Education
  • Challenging behaviours @ Sec. School – Gap in service to manage.

EHCP:

  • Parents ask for all Quantification in EHCP.

Question/Issues:

  • ‘Talking tools’ approach – Efficiency?

 What?

Evidence?

  • SLT Training. What do we need to support this group of children?

QUESTIONS ASKED IN GROUPS

  1. What is the Role & Responsibility of the SLT?
  • Perception of role (Vs What can we do?)
  • Working in harmony/Collaboratively with others (& Private SLT’s)

Perception:

  • SLT will ‘therapy Child & lots of it’
  • Reality – More indirect working (Setting programmes/Passing on skills for others to)
  • LSA/SENCo less confident with this.

Where it works well:

  • Having SENCo/LSA who understand about language processes to see why SLT’s do what they do. (e.g. explaining why they may not work on speech)
  • Collaborative working with everyone who creates goals/targets… so parent/Professionals can see it is related (separate to annual review).

–      Having allocated Liaison time.

–      Being clear with families where your role ends (but knowing who else in MDT is responsible).

  • Early yrs information – Sharing – Rolling it out for older/school aged children.
  1. How can we engage Nurseries and schools to meet the needs of children with Downs Syndrome

group?

–      Role of SENCo

  • Educational Statement: Issues & resource implications.

Role of SENCo:

–      Offer MDT Training – Core DS Course & Resources

  • Information sharing/ Coffee Morning.
  • Locality Cluster Groups
  • Use SLA to highlight needs of the children & a plan for meeting the needs/Group practice model
  • School Communication ‘total C. Environment & integration of this curriculum.
  • Get Parent/Carers involved in school meetings/Plans & training
  • Holistic approached across MDT: Reviews/Prioritisation of need & input.
  • Support SENCo/ in School in planning & implementation of objectives re: Meeting the needs.
  • ES Issues & resources implicit
  1. Who is the team around the Child with Downs Syndrome? (Mainstream/Community)
  • How can this team meet the child’s needs
  • How can we apply the new Mainstream model of SLT to this group of children?

Mainstream Model:

  • allocated no. of SLT session to schools. Jointly decide  what to do with them –
  • Clarify that sessions may be by LSA, not just SALT.
  • Provide programmes and resources
  • Include training of LSA or specify that LSA already trained e.g. in Makaton

Team:

  • SALT
  • LSA, Nursery Staff
  • SENCo, Teacher
  • Parent
  • Physio
  • OT
  • Audiologist
  • Pyscho. / Clinical Pyscho.
  • School Nurse & School Doc.
  • Private SALT.

How to meet Needs?

  • Clear lines of communication
  • Sharing information.
  • Parent often ends up as go-between – is this appropriate?
  • Joint working.
  • IEP meetings/annual reviews.
  • Generalisation is very important – Withdrawing from class is not always helpful.
  • All using same strategies.
  • Group work rather than individuals.
  • Buddy system e.g. for playtime, play ground games led by adult.

GENERAL DISCUSSION.

         WHAT DO WE THINK WE NEED IN MAINSTREAM/COMMUNITY FOR EFFECTIVE SERVICE PROVISION & DELIVERY  for children with down syndrome CHILDREN?

  • Early involvement its care pathway (Built in review)
  • Engaging users ASAP
  • Alternative transition policy/plan
  • Communication passport
  • Training/knowledge sharing.
  • Promotion in inclusion – e.g. early communication groups
  • Singing & Signing
  • Dropping Facility
  • 1’oclock Clubs

For Further information on Down syndrome  go to https://www.downs-syndrome.org.uk/

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