Preschool

As our children flourish and grow, our support continues through the preschool years - a valuable time for all children to acquire a vast range of developmental skills.

We are proud to provide ongoing support, training, and information to promote development of skills including gross and fine motor skills, early language and communication skills, early reading and number skills, memory, social and behaviour. We know that for the child with Down syndrome having access to evidence-based specialist knowledge and resources, is particularly valuable to aid their development. 

We also understand the benefits of parental peer support and have a fabulous group of preschool parents from across the UK, sharing tips, asking and sharing advice, celebrating milestones as well as accessing expert advice.

For the professionals who have the privilege of working with our young members, we also provide support, training and resources.  And we welcome them to their very own closed group.

Join our Preschool Parents Facebook Support Group

If you are in the UK, we have amazing online support where you can meet with other parents of a child with Down syndrome of preschool age; ask any questions at all, share any concerns, or worries you may have, celebrate milestones, make connections and friendships – knowing that you are not alone! 

Early Development Groups

We encourage all families to join a local support group, many of whom run regular early development groups. 

For those for whom this is not practical or where local groups do not run groups, we have developed PEGS – PADS online Early Development Groups in collaboration with LETs Go, a nationally recognised specialist organisation, and with sessions led by experienced early years practitioners.  

Online Physiotherapy

We are delighted to provide our parents the opportunity to access regular physiotherapy via POPS – PADS Online Physiotherapy Sessions, with Donna Murphy, a paediatric physiotherapist who specialises in working with babies and children with Down syndrome.  

Toilet Training

We believe that with the right information, support and encouragement, most children with Down syndrome can be out of nappies and toilet trained, in plenty of time to be in #pants4school!

We encourage early potting sitting from 9 months or earlier and recommend following our 4 step toilet training development programme.

Choosing a nursery and primary school

Starting nursery and/or school, for any child and their family, is an important milestone. 

We have put together a guide for helping to choose a nursery and a guide for choosing a primary school and topics to consider when your child is starting.

We feel it is essential to share good practise to help support early years settings to feel confident and positive about welcoming a child with Down syndrome. 

We offer training and ongoing support to the professionals working with your child. 

EHCP Support

EHCP online support groups – Our EHCP support Justine, is on hand to provide information and support around applying for and checking EHCPs in our closed Facebook groups.

EHCP drop-in service – we are also able to offer half hour 1:1 sessions with Justine – these online sessions are for DSUK families who have a child in England who would value 1:1 support. During the session you can discuss a specific question or key concern around the EHCP process. After booking Justine will contact you to arrange a suitable day and time for the session – please allow half an hour for the session.

EHCP draft review service – Justine will fully review the draft EHCP and professional reports, followed by a two-hour call to discuss feedback. During this call, Justine will run through the EHCP with you to ensure you understand any issues with the draft so that you can put your parent representations effectively to the Local Authority. After booking Justine will contact to arrange a suitable day and time for your session – please allow up to two hours for the session.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a non-means-tested benefit that can be applied for, potentially from birth, to help with the extra costs of looking after a child with a disability.

At DSUK, we work hard to empower our parents and ensure they can access the information and support they deserve. We are delighted to fund these free weekly DLA drop-in sessions, enabling parents/carers to book a slot and access the support available.

Lisa Holden is a parent to Bobby, who is 6 and has Down syndrome. She has worked as an advisor at the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) and has extensive experience supporting parents to apply for DLA over recent years.

Preschool Resources

We have a broad collection of resources and information that are helpful for both parents and professionals who will be working with our young members.