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Looking after Downs Syndrome children in schools - Help!!!

(15 Posts)
malinki Sun 11-Jul-04 16:08:16

Hi, I have a 4 year old daughter who starts school in September, so I have handed in my notice and applied for several positions in local schools to no avail. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to my DD's new school and asked if there was anything or any service I could help with, as a volunteer or otherwise paid. Today the D Head of the school called to say she had 3 positions available. (I was wanting a clerical position, until this happened), the conversation went something like this.
"We have a vacancy working with a little boy with Down Syndrome, he's a Y3 pupil and very quiet, has lots of friends and we will train you in everything relating to his support at school, would this position appeal to you, as we are looking ideally for a parent of a pupil in the school for this role", I didn't have to think about it for very long "When can I come and see you", I asked, "Before the end of term", said D Head, "I can do better than that, how are you fixed for Friday this week", so I have an appointment with the Deputy Head of my daughters new school, for the position of Special Needs Assistant to a boy with Downs Syndrome and I want it....
Are there any parents of Downs Syndrome children out there that could give me any info, I went onto google search and pulled out loads of information, I have a list of questions, I know they are loving children and you get alot back, but you need to give alot as well. The search engine I used said that alot of children are partial sitted, if you are a parent replying to my request, what do you expect from someone like me, looking after your child. If you are a special needs teacher replying, what is expected of you. The school said they would train me, not leave me out in the cold. The previous support teacher is leaving due to retirement, she has been with this little boy since reception class.

Blu Sun 11-Jul-04 16:12:01

oooh, Malinki, my brother does this at my neice and nephews school. He really enjoys it.

hmb Sun 11-Jul-04 16:26:33

There are mums on mumsnet with children who have Downs syndrome and I'm sure they will be along soon to give their expert advice.

A bit of infor that I can give, and the bump this thread a bit;-

I teach in a secondary school and one of the boys in Y7 (soon to be Y 8, goodness, time has flown) has Downs syndrome. He has one on one help all through the day and has also been set up with a buddy network. He is doing very well and has settled into a large school (1300 on the roll) very well indeed. He stays with his form class for lessons that are not 'setted', such as art, drama, history, geography and RE. He goes to setted lessons for MFL and science and tends to be withrawn from English and maths lessons to the SN unit for one on one. His supportworker helps him to access the curriculum.

Sounds like a wonderful job, go and ask lots of questions and good luck.

Fio2 Sun 11-Jul-04 16:30:35

I think like hmb says you have to make it viable for him to access the cirriculum at a level HE will understand. Also I dont know whether he will still be using makaton (?) If so you should learn this (or some children with downs now use PECS) Just be nice to him, you sound lovely

I have been told there are hundreds of jobs for escorts and support assistants ijn nurseries and schools to support SN children that arent being filled

hmb Sun 11-Jul-04 16:31:21

Must be the great money they offer

Thomcat Sun 11-Jul-04 16:36:59

i just lot everything I typed out, damn!

Anyay here are a few things off th top of my head, again....

I'd hope that as fas as possible ytou didn't treat my child any differently.
I'd hope you were patient ad caring.
I'd hope you saw th child first then the disability, if at all.
I'd hope you knew that children with DS very just a children without DS vary.
Yes people with DS do have health problems and eyesight and hearing is affected but is not the rule.
I'd hope you understand that children with DS ar just like you and me just slowed down versions.
I'd hope someone explained to you that chilkdren with DS learn better through visual aids. Just telling them how to do something won't be enough. Reading is better when done withpictures as well as words and son on.

Can I also suggest that the Down's Syndrome Educational Trust will help and advise you, send you info as well the Down's Syndrome Association.

Congratulations on your post and good luck, enjoy.

Thomcat Sun 11-Jul-04 16:38:22

Good point about the makaton Fio.

Thomcat Sun 11-Jul-04 16:41:48

Have a look this
and this

Thomcat Sun 11-Jul-04 16:44:09

So once you've been worked upon for a bit the title of this thread would have been 'looking after a child with Down's syndrome', not Down's syndrome children!!

Fio2 Sun 11-Jul-04 16:51:00

thats what i was going to say TC. But the message is so sweet and it was obviously an accident and this lady is lovely >>>>gush<<<<<

we are a picky lot us mum of SN kids

Thomcat Sun 11-Jul-04 16:53:31

Oh I know Fio, but may as well let malinki know now while I remmeber that it's child first, disabilty second.

Just a bit of well meant edu-me-cation!

malinki Sun 11-Jul-04 16:57:14


Thanks very much for this help. My daughter plays with a boy who is autistic, he is 7, but some how they communicate and she now says he is her boyfriend. He has never once done anything to hurt my daughter (his parents are always coming over to us and saying, he's autistic you know, its in his nature), to me he is a 7 year old boy who doesn't talk. He laughs and grins and understands when my DD shouts "No", I hope that when you read this you understand that I'm not interested in his "nature", i'm interested in the fact that my daughter has a friend and they really enjoy playing with each other, if he was blind, deaf, dumb or all 3, that wouldn't matter to me, I don't judge people on looks or appearances, I would like to feel that I am a warm hearted person who is soft, the only problem I feel is that I would get too close and too involved, is this wrong

Thomcat Sun 11-Jul-04 17:01:22

You sound lovley and the little boy in the school you are going to and the little boy who is friends with your daughter are very lucky to have sucha warm open minded caring person if their lives. It is difficult not to get close or too involved, I couldn't not be like that, it's in my nature and I feel thinngs very deeply. I say just be true to yourself and enjoy your new job, i think you're going to be great.

If i can do anything else please just say. Meanwhile the Down's Syndrome Educational Trust have info that ill be perfect for you. I arranged for them to send a pack to all the nurseries I visited for my daughter.

eidsvold Mon 12-Jul-04 01:09:25

This page from one of the websites TC suggested might be helpful - various pieces of literature and books that may provide useful suggestions - if the school does not have them - you could suggest they purchase them.. there is also an educational support pack that provides handy worksheet and teaching ideas - check if the teacher/ school has that - would also come in handy - can't remember if that is a DSA product or it comes from DownsEd..TC might know....


eidsvold Mon 12-Jul-04 01:11:33

oops my link did not work


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