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Recently published Essays

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Personal reflections from families, practitioners and researchers.

Motherhood and genetic screening: a personal perspective

According to the medical profession the direction and scope of reproductive services such as IVF and pre-natal screening are based on solid evidence; the evidence indicates these are effective and safe services. Moreover, women want them. As a consequence these services are usually presented to the wider community in a positive light with images of 'successful' birth outcomes showcasing the importance of their work. In this Essay, Fiona Place, as the mother of a child with Down syndrome shares her lived experiences with the aim of illuminating some of the more complex and troubling issues these technological advances have the capacity to create – not only for ourselves – but for all women.

Early Intervention in Vietnam

In this Essay, Marja Hodes describes the setting up of early intervention services in Vietnam. From the outset, there was a focus on developing staff training programmes alongside establishing model early intervention programmes to ensure that the work would be sustained at the end of the project funding and spread throughout the country. The success of this work has now led to the government of Vietnam wanting to move to the next stage and to begin to develop training for full inclusion of children with disabilities in the school system.

Evidence that we can change the profile from a study of inclusive education

In this Essay, Sue Buckley, Gillian Bird and Ben Sacks discuss the evidence that it is possible to change the specific developmental profile frequently described as being associated with Down syndrome - a profile of communication weaknesses relative to social and daily living skills. They argue that it is not an inevitable outcome of having Down syndrome. Drawing on data collected to explore the outcomes of fully inclusive education for school-age children with Down syndrome, the authors identify that the profile is seen in teenagers in special education settings but is not evident for teenagers in inclusive education. They argue that this is the result of both the effects of fully inclusive education and teaching approaches which have been adapted to address the cognitive and communication weaknesses of the children from an early age.

New from DSE: See and Learn Speech

See and Learn Speech is designed to help parents and educators support children with Down syndrome to develop clearer speech.

See and Learn Speech offers a structured approach to support speech development, working in small steps towards clearer speech production.

Now available as teaching kits and apps.

Find out more...