Programs & Resources

DSRF Presentations

Book a DSRF speaker for your next conference or workshop

Looking for a Down syndrome expert to speak at your conference, workshop, classroom or other function? DSRF's highly qualified professional staff are available for speaking opportunities. Below is a list of available presentations. Please e-mail Pat Hanbury for details.

SLP Presentations

Title: What is Down syndrome?
Audience: Students in the classroom
Length: 0.5 hours
Description: Elementary students will learn about Down syndrome through an interactive talk emphasizing what they share in common with, what might be a little different from, and how they can be a good friend to their classmate with Down syndrome.

Title: Profiles of Learning and Development in Down syndrome
Audience: Educators
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: Participants will learn what we currently know about the overall characteristics and learning style of people who have Down syndrome, and how we can effectively apply this knowledge in the classroom. The impact of health factors, cognitive development, and physical and sensory needs will be discussed.

Title: Reducing “stubborn” behavior in the classroom: Using communication strategies to support participation
Audience: Educators
Length: 3 hours
Description: Students with Down syndrome are often described as stubborn. We’ll discuss some reasons why what appears to be “stubborn” behaviour is more common in in this population. We’ll look at reducing problem behaviour by providing proactive communication strategies and implementing Positive Behavior Support (PBS) strategies. The key principles and strategies of PBS can help educators to promote appropriate behaviour and interactions at any age.

Title: Optimizing Communication in the Classroom
Audience: Educators
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: Teachers and Education Assistants play a crucial role in establishing the language learning environment for children with Down syndrome at school. In this presentation we will discuss the language and speech characteristics we often see in individuals with Down syndrome. General strategies to help students understand what you say and express their wants and needs will be discussed.

Title: Creating and Implementing Visual Supports for the Classroom
Audience: Educators
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: Participants will get hands-on practice using visual communication strategies, from paper-based to technology, which can help students to participate successfully at school. We will rehearse the steps to using these key tools to help make the day smoother for you and the students you support.

Title: Supporting Early Communication Skills in the Home and Classroom
Audience: Parents and/or Educators (modifiable for specific group)
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: We will discuss general strategies to capitalize on common strengths and to develop areas of need for children in the early stages of communication development. This presentation applies to individuals who are using no words, single words, or just a few word combinations. Participants will learn about supporting language comprehension and expression through a variety of modalities, including speech, signing, pictures, and technology.

Title: Supporting Higher Level Communication Skills in the Classroom, Home, and Community
Audience: Parents and/or Educators (modifiable for specific group)
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: We will discuss general strategies to capitalize on common strengths and to develop areas of need for children, adolescents, and adults. This talk applies to individuals who are using sentences but may struggle with using their language for conversation, play, learning, or work. Participants will learn about supporting conversation and higher- level language skills.

Title: Inclusion: Breaking Down Barriers to Participation
Audience:
Educators or Community Support Workers
Length: 3 hours
Description: Students with Down syndrome often have difficulty participating in school activities. We will discuss how to identify barriers to inclusion, and how to use the student’s learning profile to increase inclusion opportunities. Common profiles of learning and communication in Down syndrome will be discussed, as well as practical ideas to support communication in the classroom.

Title: Communication Beyond the Clinic: Incorporating the Principles of Language Therapy into the Home and Classroom Settings
Audience
: Parents, educators, community support workers
Length: 1.5-2 hours
Description: Parents and teachers play a crucial role in establishing the language learning environment for children with Down syndrome. In this presentation we will discuss general strategies to capitalize on common strengths and to develop areas that tend to be particularly challenging. The focus will include language comprehension and expression through a variety of modalities, including speech, signing, pictures, and technology.

Title: Let’s Talk Play
Audience
: Parents, educators, preschool and daycare staff, caregivers
Length: Presentation length: 1.5 hours
Description: Participants will learn about the importance of play and its role in the development of communication and social skills. We'll discuss the various stages of play and what toys and games are appropriate for different stages of learning. Group discussion will focus on ideas for engaging children in play and incorporating learning opportunities in child-centered activities.

Title: Oral Motor Development in Down Syndrome: Impact on Speech and Feeding
Audience
: Parents, professionals
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: Sensory and motor challenges in the face and mouth are common in children with Down syndrome. Speech and feeding rely on the same body systems, and both are affected by a child’s oral sensory-motor skills. This presentation outlines oral motor development typically seen in Down syndrome, and how these differences affect speech and feeding. We provide practical options for parents to positively influence oral motor development in their children.

Title: Feeding Development in Down Syndrome
Audience
: Parents, professionals, caregivers
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: In this presentation we will review the issues that affect feeding, eating safely, and resources that are available locally to support you and your child in feeding.

Title: Down Syndrome and Alzheimer’s Disease: Modifying Risk Factors and Supporting Communication for Optimal Functioning
Audience
: Parents, professionals, caregivers
Length: Presentation length: 1.5 – 2 hours
Description: This presentation will discuss the relationship between Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease, and how to recognize the early signs and symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s disease. We will emphasize healthy aging and protective strategies to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and treatable conditions to consider and rule out. We will also provide general strategies to support communication with older individuals with Down syndrome who develop Alzheimer’s disease.

OT Presentations

Title: Increasing independence and function in school aged children with Down syndrome
Audience:
Parents/caregivers, teachers, education assistants
Length:
1.5 hours
Description:
A DSRF Occupational Therapist will review common challenges faced by younger school aged children with Down syndrome in the areas of self-care, productivity, and leisure. We will discuss general fine and gross motor skills, sensory strategies, and environmental adaptations to increase independence and facilitate success in the early school aged years.

Title: Toilet Training: Where to Begin?
Audience: Parents/caregivers, teachers, education assistants
Length:
1 hour
Description:
This presentation will be an introduction to first time toilet training for young children with Down syndrome. A DSRF occupational therapist will cover the following topics: when to begin toilet training, toileting approaches, readiness skills and strategies for success. This presentation is geared towards families with young children who have not yet tried toilet training and are interested in basic information and steps to take prior to beginning a toileting program.

Title: Occupational Therapy Strategies in the Classroom
Audience: Teachers, education assistants
Length: 45 minutes
Description: In this overview, a DSRF Occupational Therapist will review common challenges faced by school aged children with Down syndrome in the classroom. We will discuss general ergonomic positioning, classroom adaptations and sensory strategies to facilitate success. Teachers and education assistants will learn how to support children’s fine and gross motor skills in the classroom.

Reading Presentations

Title: Early Reading: Building a Foundation
Audience: Teachers, Education Assistants, SLPs
Length: 1.5-2 hours
Description: Participants will learn about common learning strengths and challenges associated with Down syndrome and how we can use this information to tailor instruction and increase the acquisition of reading skills. We will discuss the importance of engagement in planning a successful literacy program, as well as the factors that can affect engagement. With the use of videos and hands on materials, participants will be introduced to the fun, hands on method for teaching high meaning sight words used in the DSRF’s Early Foundations one to one reading program for beginning readers. We will also share strategies for teaching letter sounds and early comprehension.

Title: Phonics and Phonological Awareness
Audience: Teachers, Education Assistants, SLPs
Length: 1.5-2 hours
Description: We will discuss the importance of current research when planning instruction for the acquisition of phonics and phonological awareness skills and describe the benefits to combining instruction in these two areas of reading for students with Down syndrome. With the use of videos and hands on materials, we will demonstrate creative and effective methods for developing phonological awareness in learners with Down syndrome and discuss how and when to begin instruction in phonics.  Strategies for continuing instruction in more advanced phonics concepts will also be presented.

Title: Fluency and Comprehension
Audience: Teachers, Education Assistants, SLPs
Length: 1.5-2 hours
Description: This presentation will explore strategies for teaching the developing reader in the areas of fluency and comprehension, and present ideas to make instruction interactive and purposeful. We will review the principles guiding our approach, including explicit teaching of question words and the use of visual supports to support comprehension.

Title: Written Language and Vocabulary
Audience: Teachers, Education Assistants, SLPs
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: Strategies for teaching beginning and developing writers will be discussed, along with ways to include vocabulary development and instruction in both reading and writing. Strategies for adapting and modifying writing tasks will also be presented.

Title: Reaching All Learners
Audience: Teachers, Education Assistants, SLPs
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: In this presentation, we will discuss the importance of student engagement as well as the factors that can influence this engagement. Participants will look at the process of planning for learners with intellectual disabilities, including goal setting, developing resources, and delivering the program. We will discuss considerations for implementing a literacy program using supports such as AAC devices, sign language and visuals, and explore some of the more useful resources available.

Title: Numeracy
Audience: Teachers, Education Assistants, SLPs
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: This presentation will explore the use of a balanced approach to developing numeracy skills in learners with Down syndrome. We will discuss factors contributing to engagement, acquisition of skills and understanding of concepts in numeracy. We will share strategies and activities for including learners with Down syndrome in meaningful, rich numeracy experiences.

Title: Early Reading and School Readiness
Audience: Parents, Caregivers
Length: 1.5- 2 hours
Description: In this presentation, we will discuss factors contributing to engagement in learning environments, what ‘school readiness’ entails, and some strategies for developing the early skills that form the foundation for success in school. We will also discuss building a relationship with your school team and setting goals for your child’s school experience.

Title: Supporting Readers of All Ages
Audience: Parents, Caregivers
Length: 1.5- 2 hours
Description: This presentation will focus on supporting readers of all ages by exploring how to adapt strategies to suit readers at any level of development. The audience will be introduced to useful strategies for improving reading fluency, comprehension and vocabulary development and will learn how reading practice can be incorporated into everyday situations. We will also share ideas for finding age and level appropriate reading materials, including traditional print materials, audiobooks and online content.

Title: Technology - It’s not all about the apps!
Audience: Teachers, Education Assistants, Parents, Caregivers
Length: 1.5 hours
Description: Apps are only one part of the role technology can play in the learning process. In this workshop, we will explore some other uses for tablets including communication, reading, adapting and modifying materials, creating learning materials and, of course, some of our favourite apps for review and reinforcement of skills. Participants will have a chance to try some of the programs and apps discussed.

General Presentations

Title: Supporting Students with Down Syndrome
Audience:
Teachers, SEAs, camp counsellors, volunteers
Length:
2 hours (long version) | Length: 1.5 hours (short version)
Description: A DSRF Speech Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist will provide basic information about the strengths and challenges in learning and participating for individuals with Down syndrome. Attendees will learn about Down syndrome and how it affects the body, growth, and development. Common challenges for participation will be discussed along with strategies for success.

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Down Syndrome Resource Foundation
1409 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby
British Columbia, Canada
V5B 4J8

Fax: +1 604 431 9248
Phone: +1 604 444 3773
E-mail: info@dsrf.org