Empowering children with Down Syndrome and their families

DS Achieve received a £5,000 grant towards the running costs of their 'Little Achievers' group which provides pre-school children with Down Syndrome and their parents / carers with targeted educational support to help the children achieve their full potential
New parents of a baby with Down Syndrome often find the post-diagnosis period and early years challenging and/or isolating. Information on finding support is not always easily accessible when also caring for a child with a disability.

The chairty DS Achieve, which covers all of Hertfordshire is a new organisation formed by a group of parents of children with Down Syndrome. They focus on providing educational and training programmes for families, children and professionals, all aimed at helping the children to reach their full potential.
DS Achieve received a £5,000 grant from HCF towards their 'Little Achievers' group which aims to help young children (aged 0 to 5 years) with Down Syndrome to develop from the earliest age and support the children’s parents/carers to build knowledge and resilience to help them support their child every day.

The children and their parents/carers attend weekly Little Achievers sessions for 10 weeks each term where children up to a year old can engage in sensory play and social interaction, and children over a year old experience some formal teaching time. The formal teaching time is informed by up to date research on effective strategies for children with Down Syndrome.

Specialists such as speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and/or other supporting professionals attend occasionally to also give parents/carers informal advice and training.

Michelle Bolton, Trustee for Little Achievers said; “Our Little Achievers group provides a community where families facing similar challenges are able to access professional intervention and support as well as learn from and support each other. The group was developed and is led by parents who have older children with Down Syndrome and have first-hand knowledge and experience of what families of young children find of value. The feedback we’ve had so far from the parents who attend has been really positive.”

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