Penn_HI_V&_JuliaSymbol’s highly experienced practitioners offer a range of training days focusing on the specific support needs associated with Down syndrome. These courses provide a wealth of insight and practical strategies for families and others who support people who have Down syndrome.

We offer a number of one-day courses focusing on behaviour, communication issues with different age groups, and supporting pupils in mainstream schools.

We also offer in depth specialist development training for speech and language therapists, speech and language therapy support practitioners and co-workers, and other professionals.

Contact us to go on mailing lists for training dates at our centres in Dickley Court, Kent and Crawley Down, Surrey.  Where an organisation wishes to buy a whole training day for its staff/associates this is charged at £600 plus any travel and accommodation expenses.

We are very pleased to be able to design and adapt courses to meet the requirements of groups of delegates and to deliver training at your own local venue. Please contact us for more information.

Training dates are booked according to demand, please for details.

Established courses include:

‘I’m Not Stubborn, I’m Tenacious!’- Behaviour and children with Down syndrome led by Tessa Duffy

A one day workshop for parents and professionals supporting children with Down Syndrome who present with challenges in their behaviour. The day will assist participants in gaining a greater understanding of the reasons behind behaviours and offer a range of approaches and interventions which can help promote positive behaviours.

‘Setting Out’- Down Syndrome and Early Development for Parents and Practitioners’

This course shares key information about Down syndrome that can impact on our children’s learning and development and discusses what we can do to help our children to learn and develop, with practical strategies to use at home and beyond; simple, clear explanations with lots of time for questions and discussion make this a useful and accessible course for those who want to understand the implications for individual children. For parents and practitioners with 0-3 year olds.

‘We’re All in This Together’ – Speech, Language and Communication with children in preschool and Primary Phases

A day for families and professionals supporting children with Down syndrome up to the age of 11, on understanding our children’s communication profile, supporting them to develop their speech, language and communication skills at home, school and other environments, and enabling them to ‘tell it like it is’!

‘Communication For Life’ – Developing communication skills for real life communication challenges of the teenage years and young adulthood

A day for families and professionals supporting children and young people with Down’s syndrome aged from 9 to young adulthood. We look at communication issues in the context of adolescence, a time of transition from childhood to adulthood. We explore ideas and strategies that can support communication around key issues for teenagers and young adults, focusing on the strengths and challenges associated with Down syndrome. If puberty is on the way, or has already arrived, this course will help map out future directions and priorities, as well as discussing practical solutions for everyday challenges.

‘Mainstream Schools: Working with pupils with Down Syndrome’

This course enables staff to review and update strategies used in school, and provides essential information about Down syndrome and effective strategies for staff who are relatively new to working with pupils who have Down syndrome. In addition to providing an introduction to Down syndrome and the Down syndrome community we discuss participation, differentiation and inclusion issues. The course content is adapted to meet participants’ needs, and provides opportunities to share experiences and discuss solutions.

Specialist development programme for speech and language therapists and speech and language therapy support workers working with people who have Down syndrome: Modular courses

Symbol UK offers this 4 day, modular course presenting relevant research in DS, and speech and language therapy interventions for this population, lead by Leela Baksi and Jo Gawn, specialist speech and language therapists

Participants develop in-depth knowledge of Down syndrome across the lifespan, and of recommended evidence based practice to support designing and delivering interventions in a range of settings. There is plenty of opportunity to discuss individual cases and the practicalities of working in specific services.

This four day course can be completed in modules. Modules 1, 2, and 3 must be completed in sequence (3.1 and 3.2 can be taken in any order). On completion of all 4 modules, participants will receive a certificate of completion of the specialist development programme.

Module 1 is also open to colleagues from other professions (teachers, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists etc)

Outline of modules

Module 1: An in depth introduction to Down syndrome and the Down syndrome community

This module provides a wealth of practical information, informing how services and practitioners can take into account what is known about the syndrome when working with this client group. For SLTs, teachers, psychologists, other practitioners and researchers.

Overview of Down syndrome: Population figures, Support networks, historical and current issues, genetic basis.

A specific profile of health and sensory issues across the lifespan. Psycho social issues at ages and stages: mapping lives and life issues.

A specific profile of speech, language and communication: features and implications. Total communication and supporting comprehension: How do we make verbal language accessible?

A specific learning style informing designing and delivering intervention: specific approaches to securing participation, behaviour management,  and dealing with behaviour issues.

Module 2: Issues in Evidence Based Practice and principles for assessment, goal planning and intervention

This module discusses the evidence base for speech and language therapy intervention with this client group. For SLTs only.

The evidence base in relation to DS: possible causes and contributory factors

Characteristics of emergence of speech, language and communication skills at different stages of development, ASD and DS, dyspraxia and DS, dysfluency in DS, emergence of narrative skills, Verbal deficits in DS: comparison with SLI

Recommendations about provision of SLT intervention

Using evidence of effectiveness of interventions, Early Intervention, Assessment and Goal planning, Bilingualism and Multilingualism

Module 3:  This module discusses practical strategies applicable across the age range, in two parts. For SLTs, teachers and highly experienced/specialist SLT support practitioners

Module 3.1: Intervention targeting language and social communication

Principles of intervention with clients with DS: Using visual supports to develop language skills, Vocabulary skills, Syntactic skills, Narrative skills, Social communication, Self Talk, Selective Mutism

Module 3.2: Intervention targeting speech and feeding

Overview of intervention targeting speech skills: Speech production, Phonology, Fluency, Suprasegmental features, VOCA

Eating and drinking skills: Factors contributing to difficulties, Promoting skill development.

Cost: £100 per module, each module lasts 1 day (9.15-4.30pm) with lunch provided Modules are provided at least annually, contact Symbol for details.

The Co-worker Network

We provide a three day co-worker training coursee for co-workers who deliver speech and language therapy activities for groups of babies, children and adults who have Down syndrome. Please see the “Co-Worker” page for details.

We are very pleased to be able to design and adapt courses to meet the individual requirements of groups of delegates and to deliver training at your own local venue. Please contact us for more information.