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Practice

Family support, education and healthcare in practice.

Helping children with Down syndrome express themselves

In their article, The voice of the child with Down syndrome, Julie Hooton and Anna Westaway describe a multi-agency project which aimed to remove barriers and push boundaries associated with the reduced ability to verbalise. The project planned to give every child with Down syndrome in mainstream schooling in the county the chance to express themselves in an alternative way and to chart visually their own judgement of progress, enabling them to contribute in a personally meaningful and accurate way to their annual review process and beyond.


Handling the transfer to secondary school

The transfer to secondary education can be an anxious time and planning ahead can help. In her article, Elaine Bull offers practical advice based on her personal experiences about what to consider and when to start planning. It also discusses many of the issues involved in the transition to later schooling. Whilst written from the perspective of the English school system, many of the issues and principles are broadly applicable to school transfers at around 10-12 years of age in other countries.


Special at school but lonely at home

After a decade of inclusion and structured school programmes to facilitate friendships, many parents report that peer relationships end after school hours. In this Practice article, Jeanne D'Haem outlines specific methods to establish a successful friendship group and discusses her recent study comparing the effectiveness of two different types of approaches to encouraging friendships for adolescents with Down syndrome - school based friendship groups and a mixed age home based group. The study found that school based friendship groups of adolescent peers were not successful in developing friendships for individuals with Down syndrome. When a multi-age group was conducted outside of the school, friendships formed and have continued for over two years. This article describes how and why parents and professionals should look beyond school based same age peer friendship groups and consider a community circle of mixed-age friends.


Sam's progress with learning mathematics

Sam is 18 years old and has Down syndrome. He achieved a grade in the standard assessment of mathematics (GCSE) at 16 years of age. This paper by Lynne Haslam describes the part played in his success in school by the Kumon method of teaching mathematics, identifies the benefits of the small steps and lots of practice built in to the method and illustrates the way Sam applied his Kumon learning in school.


Katrina's progress with learning mathematics

Katrina is 10 years old and has Down syndrome. She is making good progress with learning and numbers and mathematics. In this article, her parents describe how Katrina has learned number concepts and arithmetic skills over several years. They highlight the influence of early learning habits, visual supports, motivation and practice, and the uses made of different number teaching schemes.

Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI)

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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