Educators play a crucial role in setting the stage for the healthy development of children with Down syndrome into adults who are able to make positive contributions to their community. By guiding appropriate behaviour for successful social interactions in the classroom and school community, incorporating knowledge about communication strengths and challenges into daily routines, and using successful strategies for teaching children with Down syndrome to read, we are teaching skills that will optimize the potential for full social inclusion.
Please join DSRF speech language pathologists and teachers for a comprehensive 8 part series of workshops designed to maximize successful classroom participation for learners with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. This series is for classroom teachers, resource teachers, education assistants and other professionals who work in the school setting.
The series will be held at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation 1409 Sperling Avenue in Burnaby from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm on the following Tuesday and Thursday evenings: September 19, 21, 26, 28, and October 3, 5, 10, 12. Light refreshments will be served. The cost is $100 for the entire series or $20 for each individual session. A certificate of completion will be issued for participants who attend the entire series.
Register by contacting Nimet Tejpar at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-444-3773. Register early to secure your spot!
Tues. Sept. 19: Profiles of Learning and Development in Down Syndrome
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. The impact of health factors, cognitive development, and physical and sensory needs will be discussed.
Thurs. Sept. 21: Reducing Stubborn Behavior in the Classroom: Using Communication Strategies to Support Participation
Students with Down syndrome are often described as stubborn. We’ll discuss some reasons why ‘stubborn’ behavior is more common in in this population. We’ll look at reducing problem behavior by providing proactive communication supports and implementing Positive Behavior Support (PBS) strategies. The key principles and strategies of PBS can help educators promote appropriate behaviour and interactions at any age.
Tues. Sept. 26: Optimizing Communication in the Classroom
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 people with Down syndrome. General strategies to help students understand what you say and express their wants and needs will be discussed.
Thurs. Sept. 28: Creating and Implementing Visual Supports for the Classroom
Participants will get hands-on practice using visual communication strategies, from paper based to technology, that can help students participate successfully. We will rehearse the steps to using these key tools to help make the day smoother for you and the students you support.
Tues. Oct. 3: Early Reading: Building a Foundation
The audience will be introduced to the learning profile of students with Down syndrome and how reading instruction can be modified and adapted to meet the unique needs of these learners and other learners with intellectual disabilities. Participants will be introduced to the fun, hands on methods for teaching high meaning sight words used in the DSRF’s Early Foundations one to one reading program for beginning readers. We will look at how reading instruction can be beneficial for increasing cognitive engagement, expressive and receptive language and listening comprehension.
Thurs. Oct. 5: The Next Step: Developing Readers
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. We will look at benefits of combining instruction in these two areas of reading instruction for students with DS.
Tues. Oct. 10: Developing Readers (Continued)
Building on the previous session, strategies for continuing instruction in more advanced phonics concepts will be presented. Strategies for teaching the areas of reading comprehension and fluency will be explored as we consider ways to make instruction interactive and purposeful.
Thurs. Oct. 12: Reaching All Learners
This final presentation will focus on effective planning and evaluation. Participants will have the opportunity to apply knowledge from the previous sessions to begin planning a reading program for specific students they will be working with in the school year. The group will discuss possible solutions to improving motivation and engagement and consider barriers to successful learning in a school setting. Time will be set aside for any questions or clarification of concepts discussed over the series.
About the presenters:
Jillian Baldwin, M.Sc. RSLP is a speech and language pathologist at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation in Burnaby, BC. She completed her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at UBC and her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. Before joining DSRF, she provided speech, language, and swallowing support to children in schools and adults in a rehabilitation centre. Jillian strongly values collaborating with her students’ school teams to optimize participation in the classroom at all ages.
Riley Rosebush, M.Sc. R.SLP has worked as a speech-language pathologist at DSRF since 2012 providing speech and feeding therapy to people of all ages. Riley loves working with clients and their families to provide individualized support for communication and oral motor development. She has additional training in PROMPT Therapy, Talk Tools, myofunctional therapy, and breastfeeding support.
Eleanor Stewart, M.Ed has worked at the Down Syndrome Research Foundation since 2008 and is the lead teacher. Eleanor is a BC certified teacher who has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, with a specialization in reading and exceptionality, from Simon Fraser University. She completed her Bachelor of Education at McGill University.
Danielle McKinney, BEd is BC-certified teacher who completed her Bachelor of Education in Elementary Education with a concentration in Language Arts, at the University of Victoria. She has been with the DSRF since 2011, and has supported the reading development of many children and young adults with Down syndrome.