Monday, August 15, 2011

Down Syndrome Centre - New Parents Evening

(gratutious photo of Ava nothing to do with the actual post)

Myself and Ciara (Duffo!) were asked by Down Syndrome Centre to speak at a New Parents evening 09.08.11.

The evening included talks by ourselves, DSC Liaison Nurse Angela O Riordan and Speech and Language Therapist Marinet vanVuren and was well attended (some *super* cute babies also in attendance). It was in the Shelbourne (Dublin City) in a most grand room with a lovely view of the green (hugely irrelevant)

We prepared a presentation with related notes. Myself and Ciara took alternate sections, took questions at the end and were very pleased that people had some to ask.

There was questions about :-

- Starting solids? (Answer we took advice from another mother of a child with a 'regular' child)
- When we started working on communication? (Answer 3 months)
- When to start services? (Answer 3 months).

We just spoke from our experiences and gave our opinions. We emphasized a couple of points, to make contact with other parents and get into School early and start S+L / Dev skills ASAP also. One lady said she was not keen on attending services so early but listening to Ciara was going to dive straight in so that was great to hear (and let's hope that works out ok!)

I also took the opportunity to highlight the deficiencies in Lamh's approach in that you still cant source material online but must instead take a course. It was telling that parents there were keen to start but had not yet taken the course (there was a put your hands up straw poll). Again what a pity that this approach is taken as it surely impacts development of the children? And we pay for it? (puts away soapbox)

I will create a link to the slides and also add the notes (expanded) which may be of use to someone somewhere?

Note that this is our opinion and experiences. As (film reviewer) Mark Kermode would say "other opinions are of course available". As we also said to the parents on the night we are conscious of those with children who have serious heart / health problems and we were aware of that (we have dodged a few bullets so far)

As a footnote ages ago we received a signed copy of a lovely book "It's Me, It's Me" by Jacqueline O'Donohue who recently passed away. DSC were giving new parents copies of the book as they left and I felt it worth a mention as it is such a lovely illustrated book we still read it to Ava. It can be purchased on their site and I would recommend it and hope it continues to get out there.