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 â€“
not only for ourselves â€“ 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.
DSE's Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI) is an evidence-based programme designed to teach reading and language skills to children with Down syndrome.
RLI incorporates best practice in structured activities delivered in fast-paced daily teaching sessions. It was evaluated in a randomised controlled trial and found to improve rates of progress compared to ordinary teaching.
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