Upcoming Courses

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Please note: Our courses are available to members only.  Please apply for your free membership here. If you apply for a course and are a non-member, you are agreeing to us creating a membership for you.


Community, Identity, Relationships and Communication: co-producing Circle groups with young people who have Down’s syndrome.

1 day course for co-workers, experienced support staff and speech and language therapists.

This course is for PROFESSIONALS ONLY. It is for those groups looking to set up sessions for young people/young adults.

Date: Saturday 9th March 2019

Time: Registration 9.00am-9.30am. Course starts at 9.30am and finishes at 4.30pm

Venue: Shorne Woods Country Park, Brewers Road, Shorne, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 3HX

Cost: £80. Prices are per person

Refreshments and Lunch: Cafe on-site or bring your own lunch.

Trainers: Leela Baksi

Parking is included. Delegates will need to give their car registration numbers to reception on arrival.

Overview & Purpose

This course presents a format and strategies for supporting learning (in particular, language and communication) and personal growth, in youth-club style sessions for young people who have Down syndrome.

Over many years Symbol UK have been developing a model of communication-focused social groups for young people with Down syndrome aged 11 to early 20s. Following on from speech and language therapy groups for younger children, these sessions focus on communication, relationships, community and identity, and provide opportunities to:

  • Meet up with friends and make new friends,
  • Socialise and take part in fun activities with facilitation
  • Talk about their lives and what’s on their minds, and offer each other support
  • Get support with speech and language skills, including clearer speech, alternative means of   communication, vocabulary skills, and social skills and social language.
  • Practice skills in making and maintaining relationships, assertion, and self-expression.

The course aims to equip participants to run groups in this format. This course is for speech and language therapy support staff (assistants and co-workers) and speech and language therapists who are experienced in offering syndrome-specific speech and language therapy intervention to people with DS and thinking about developing groups for teenagers and young adults or working with these already.

This course offers theoretical underpinnings to offering speech and language therapy intervention in a ‘youth group’ format, and then looks in detail at content and facilitation techniques using video footage and discussion. We will discuss:

  • Co-production with young people: involving young people in planning and running groups – without using questionnaires and other tricky means of consultation
  • Including everyone: working with groups with mixed ages, skills and interests.
  • Topics for teenagers and young people: what we talk about and how we explore key areas.
  • Practical strategies you can use when running these groups
  • We also discuss promoting this style of service to families and other service providers. Young people involved in these services seem to have no reservations about this alternative model.

Who is this suitable for:

The course assumes participants are familiar with the profile of communication strengths and impairments and learning style associated with the syndrome, and syndrome specific recommendations concerning speech and language therapy intervention.

Additional info for co-worker lead services

To get set up to start running groups shortly after the training, Symbol UK suggest you identify: 4-6 or more young people who would like to attend the groups (we run groups for mixed ages and all abilities), ideally two people to run the groups who can attend the training (to provide mutual support, and cover if one member of staff becomes unavailable), parents or volunteers to organise the ‘youth club’ (sending out group dates and collecting payment, contact for new group members, booking venue, opening up and locking up if needed, tuck shop, maybe social time after group session).

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Continence and Toilet Training Specifically for Children with Down’s Syndrome

Date: Friday 5th April 2019

Time: 09:30 – 16:00

Cost: Parent/Carers £20, Professionals £80. Prices are per person.

21 Together hold a strong belief that no family should be denied access to training due to finances. Our Financial Support Policy and application form is available upon request.

Refreshments: – Buffet lunch and tea/coffee provided.

Venue: Thanington Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Thanington Road, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3XE

Provider: ERIC – The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity www.eric.org.uk

Overview and Purpose

This course is designed to discuss toilet training for children with Down’s syndrome. It will start by discussing healthy bowels and bladders; their function, control and issues –  then dive into toilet training, specifically related to Down’s syndrome and associated issues. It is important to assess the readiness for potty training, get prepared and then get going! We will look at obstacles to toilet training, using assessment flowcharts and developing an individual toilet training programme. The course will end with case studies where parents can bring their own problems and the trainer will help with solutions.

By the end of the course you should be familiar with the normal acquisition of bowel and bladder control, be clear about what assessment/investigations are appropriate and have an increased confidence in toilet training and continence management.

Who this is suitable for

This course is suitable for all parents/carers of babies and younger children, or those supporting them in a school or nursery setting. This course would also suit parents of older children who are still having issues with toilet training and continence issues.

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Down Syndrome Training & Support Service LtdUsing Numicon Skills to Teach Basic Number Skills to Children with Down’s syndrome

Date: Tuesday 30th April 2019

Time: Registration 9.15am-9.30am. Course starts at 9.30am and finishes at 3pm

Venue: Shorne Woods Country Park, Brewers Road, Shorne, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 3HX

Cost: Parent/Carers £20, Professionals £80. Prices are per person

21 Together hold a strong belief that no family should be denied access to training due to finances. Our Financial Support Policy and application form is available upon request.

Refreshments and Lunch: Please bring your own lunch. Cafe on-site

Parking is included. Delegates will need to give their car registration numbers to reception on arrival.

Trainers: Wendy Uttley

Overview & Purpose

Basic number skills are vital to enable everyday social inclusion and independence. This training will commence with an overview of the learning profile of a child with Down’s syndrome; exploring working memory and how this impacts on learning numbers. It will detail how children learn basic number skills – recognising numbers, saying number names, counting to find ‘how many?’ and early hands on addition. It will explore the challenges faced by children who have Down’s syndrome and demonstrate how the use of Numicon as a visual representation of number can help to overcome these difficulties and lead to increased understanding and confidence.

The day will include lots of hands on activities with time for discussion and highlight how successful early intervention is in increasing these skills with reference to the Early Development Groups running in Bradford.

Who is this suitable for:

This course is suitable for all school staff/parents who have no previous training in Numicon or you are working with a child in early years or Key stage one.  If you would like to advance your knowledge or you will be working with older children then we recommend you also book onto Advanced Numicon – Beyond 10, Time and Money.

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Down Syndrome Training & Support Service LtdAdvanced Numicon – Beyond 10, Time and Money

This course follows on from Using Numicon Skills to Teach Basic Number Skills to Children with Down’s syndrome. You must have either: attended Using Numicon Skills to Teach Basic Number Skills, or have attended other Numicon workshops, or have a good working knowledge of Numicon. The basics won’t be covered.

Date: 1st May 2019

Time: Registration 9.15am-9.30am. Course starts at 9.30am and finishes at 4pm

Venue: Shorne Woods Country Park, Brewers Road, Shorne, Gravesend, Kent, DA12 3HX

Cost: Parent/Carers £20, Professionals £80. Prices are per person

21 Together hold a strong belief that no family should be denied access to training due to finances. Our Financial Support Policy and application form is available upon request.

Refreshments and Lunch: Please bring your own lunch. Cafe on-site

Trainers: Wendy Uttley

Parking is included. Delegates will need to give their car registration numbers to reception on arrival.

Overview & Purpose

Number, time and money skills are vital to enable everyday social inclusion and independence. This day will follow on from day 1 (with a slight overlap to firstly consider the learning profile of a child with Down’s syndrome).

During the morning session we will look in detail how to tackle developing number skills beyond 10:

  • Rote counting in 10s, 5s, 2s, teens and counting through decades up to 100
  • Recognising 2 and 3 digit numbers, place vale and order
  • Counting to find how many – beyond 10
  • Adding up and taking away – methods to succeed
  • Fractions, multiplication, division and using calculators

After lunch we will tackle time and money.

Time is a very abstract concept and as such can present a major challenge to children with Down’s syndrome. This workshop will equip participants with a structured programme of activities and resources, developed and written by Wendy Uttley, to help teach the passage of time and then how, step by step, to teach a child how to tell the time.

During the money workshop, we will, again use a programme written by Wendy Uttley which consists of 120 finely graded activities to help teach a person with Down’s syndrome to understand and use money. Starting with learning the names for the coins and playing simple shopping games, moving on to learning the value of coins and progressing to working with pounds and pence.

Who is this suitable for:

This course is suitable for school staff/parents with a good foundation knowledge in Numicon and those working with children and young people in Key stage 2 and above. Previous training in Numicon is recommended but a very good working knowledge of the resource may be sufficient. To get the most benefit we strongly recommend staff attend both courses.

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