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Down's syndrome - help at school

  • I may have difficulties hearing; let me sit near the front of the class to optimise my learning experience.
  • Make sure you call my name to get my attention before you begin speaking.
  • It is helpful for me if you use key words.
  • It is helpful for me not too include too many instructions at once.
  • It is helpful if you use signs and symbols when you communicate with me and to include them for new words.
  • I also need lots of time to process what you have said, and visual reminders help me not to forget.
  • It is fun and helpful for me if my peers also learn how to sign and use symbols.
  • Generally I can learn to read at a similar rate to my peers, and so reading from an early age really helps my language develop.
  • My visual skills are a strength, and as I can remember what words look like really easily, my reading is often better than my speech.
  • Development of my writing skills will follow the same pattern as other children but will be delayed, as I have low muscle tone throughout my body which means I have difficulties controlling my movements.
  • Positioning my chair and desk at exactly the right height really helps me to keep one part of my body still whilst moving another.
  • My hips and knees need to be in line with my feet flat on the floor.
  • My elbows should rest comfortably on my desk.
  • I should have access to a speech and language therapist who will help the teachers who work with me.

It makes a huge difference for me to know that there is an adult at my school who knows all about my condition and who I can talk to if I am worried or unwell.