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What Support do Pupils with Down’s Syndrome Need at School?

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If your child has been diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, you’ll want to ensure they get the support they need to thrive at school.

Our Education Solicitors and Special Educational Needs Lawyers are very experienced at helping families in England and Wales ensure adequate provision is made for children and young people with Down’s syndrome.

For legal advice get in touch with our Education Lawyers.

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What Educational Support Does a Child with Down's Syndrome Need?

As with any child, the education support a child/ young person requires will vary, as it will depend on what provision is required to meet their needs. For example, this could include:

  • Using pictures and visual aids
  • Giving short and simple instructions, to help them understand and remember clearly
  • Providing support during break and lunch times
  • Attending differentiated classes
  • Access to a speech and language and/or occupational therapist
  • Access to a Learning Support Assistant

Much of this may come over and above the provision that a mainstream school may be able to deliver from their resources. Therefore, a child/young person with Down’s syndrome may require provision to be arranged by the Local Authority through an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. This is a legally enforceable document which specifies the level of help the child/young person requires in a clear, concise and understandable way for education providers and families.

The EHC Plan should give an accurate and detailed description of the child/young person’s education needs and the steps that should be taken to address them. For example, if the child has language difficulties, the EHC Plan may state that they require regular sessions with a qualified speech and language therapist.

What is Down’s Syndrome?

Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition that, according to the NHS, “typically causes some level of learning disability and certain physical characteristics”. This can be discovered before a child is born and while these tests provide no guarantee, they do tell you the likelihood of the child having Down’s.

What Difficulties Might My Child with Down's Syndrome Have?

A child with Down’s syndrome can experience difficulties in many areas, such as:

  • Speech and language, including understanding instructions
  • Recalling information and events
  • Fine motor skills, including writing and gross motor skills
  • Emotional, behavioural and social skills

How We Can Help You

Our Education Solicitors and SEN Lawyers can help ensure that children/young people with Down’s syndrome get suitable provision at school. We can also make sure that an EHC Plan is fit for purpose, that it’s being followed and advise you on what to do next if it isn’t being implemented in full.

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