We are about to have a 3yr old with DOwn's syndrome start at our Nursery - does anyone have any experience of this both teacher and parent - would love some top tips to make it a successful start. Would love to know what parents found helpful and reassuring. Thanks
more people will see this if you repost this on the SN board. No personal experience of Downs Syndrome, just language delay. But would say that in general - the parent is the expert in their own child, even if they don't have the qualifications! so take what they say very seriously as to what their child's difficulties/strengths/preferences etc are. I imagine a big issue will be around language/communication, and what support may be needed in that regard (e.g. does the child use signing/PECs as well as speech, what level of understanding are they at (as in how many key words in a sentence they can understand).
you might find it useful to have some photos of nursery activities etc to hand explain what's going to happen next/offer choices if the child's understanding of language is also delayed. in general - keep language simple and consistent - and allow lots of time for a response, whether it's a nod/gesture or attempt at word or sign
I am the parent of a 7 yr old DD who has DS. I have personally been "fighting the system" since she was 3 yrs old and started nursery to get her appropriately supported in mainstream. I have had to endure the tribunal system to even get our LEA to assess her needs and after many years of trying to get my DD included and differentiated for I have given up on mainstream and threatened tribunal yet again to get her into a SN school. She starts there in September in Y3.
During this time I supported a friends little boy who also has Down Syndrome ,in his private nursery for 6 hours a week. At this point I had had no previous professional childcare experience.
I am now just completing my NVQ3 in CCLD and work in a local pre-school.
I'd like to think I could offer you some advice if you have any concerns but like any other child- their needs may be very individual. There are some more general pointers, visual clues, visual timetables, sign (check with parents which sign they use-I use signalong).
If you want to email me- you can find my email addy on my crafty blog HERE
Lots of good advice above. Does your authority have a pre-school/0-3 support team? Ours will go in to any nursery/pre-school and support the staff with training/preparing for the child to come in/IEPs etc..
Have you checked out the Down Syndrome Educational Trust website? Lots of useful info on there. Also try the Early Support pack - there is one specifically aimed at parents of children with DS but contains lots of useful info for any interested party. Pupils with DS have a specific learning profile which might interest you too to see a more long term view.
Sorry to hear about your fights Dingle - shouldn't have to be that way. In Warwickshire parents choose whether they want mainstream or special schooling for their children with DS.