Speech and Language Therapy

Individuals with Down Syndrome may have difficulty with communication. They may have difficulty understanding what is being said to them and they may also find it difficult to express themselves. Our children may also have difficulty developing clear speech. To support these needs the branch operates a full time SLT service throughout the year. Currently DS Cork has one full time speech and language therapist as well as two part time SLTs. SLT is a subsidised service and parents can further decrease the cost by participating in our bag packing fundraisers which entitles you to a €20 credit voucher.

Children with Down Syndrome may need speech and language therapy to develop the following skills:

  • Listening and Attention
  • Following Directions
  • Vocabulary Development
  • Concept Development – including prepositions (on, under), same/different, before/after.
  • Increase sentence length
  • Develop sentence structure
  • Phonological awareness skills – Sound awareness.
  • Speech sound development
  • Develop alternative means of communication such as use of LAMH, PECS, iPad device.
  • Social Skills Development

Group therapy offered during the summer months.

The Speech and Language Therapist may liaise with other professionals, e.g. Occupational Therapy and school staff involved with your child to help your child reach their full potential.

Education Service at Down Syndrome Cork

The branch provides an education service for its members and Liam Ahern, former principal of St Aidans Community College and parent of a child with Down Syndrome coordinates the service. This service includes visits to schools and advice to schools on matters relevant to our members. The branch also organizes seminars on entry to the primary school system and also on entry to second level schools, both mainstream and special.  These seminars are presented by practitioners who are up to date with developments in the education field.  As part of our service we are available for the following:

  • Appointments to meet with parents
  • Review Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
  • Advice on applying to schools and what your child’s rights are
  • We visit schools and support teachers
  • I pad talks in conjunction with SLT
  • Numicon talks for parents and teachers
  • Library of Support materials
  • Advice on Assessments

Liam can be contacted at 086 1733250 or on email at liam.ahern@dsicork.org

Occupational Therapy Service at Down Syndrome Cork

A subsidised Occupational Therapy Service is also supported by the branch. Concerns are typically raised when a child is experiencing difficulty with everyday functional tasks. These can range from functional difficulties in the classroom, difficulty using a scissors (for example) to difficulty dressing or toileting at home or academic challenges in the classroom. Difficulties with functional skills are most obvious and are easily identified when you compare the child to their peer group. If he/she is not able, or has difficulty, completing tasks that their peer group can manage, then occupational therapy may be an option.  Occupational therapy session can be conducted on an individual or group basis and for further information ring us at 021 4300444.

We offer a range of different services suitable for children. DS Cork provides the following services; subsidised Speech and Language Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy as well as an Education Service. The Branch also organises social, educational and recreational activities throughout the year.

Physiotherapy at Down Syndrome Cork

We provide a subsidised Physiotherapy Service which also includes information seminars for parents.

The service is run by Julie Gilmore who is a chartered physiotherapist.  Julie is a parent of a child with DS and has over 20 years of experience in physiotherapy.  She has a specific interest in sensory integration and use therapy balls, swings and trampolines to increase motor and sensory input.  She provides treatment as either a home based visit or in a therapy clinic.

Physiotherapy goals for school age children

Your child is probably now a seasoned walker. Progress their gross motor skills with ball catching, kicking and throwing. Develop their confidence with higher balance skills such as jumping, hopping, single leg standing and balance beam. Encourage them to be proficient in all playground activities e.g. climbing.

Social Events

  • Jo Jingles, under 5’s, every 3rd Saturday of the Month
  • Halliwick Swimming Lessons
  • Christmas Party
  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Cycling Lessons
  • Day Trips
  • FAI Soccer Camps
  • Care Farm
  • And Much More…

  Forthcoming events will be posted on the website and on facebook so watch this space!

If you would like to find out more about any of these services for your child, just give us a ring at 021 4300444 as we would be like to help.

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