Group Hosts Enriching Opportunities for Local Children27th January 2023
The Bright Stars group which runs tailored play sessions for children under the age of four with additional needs, recently hosted two sessions for children with Down Syndrome. This experience provided new and enriching opportunities for the children and gave their parents a chance to socialise with other families, share stories and advice.
The Bright Stars group is operated by the Down SureStart Service which serves the local community by offering a wide range of programmes and services.
Both sessions consisted of free play for the children which helped them to interact with the other families. They were also given access to a sensory room which combines a range of stimuli and equipment to help children to develop and engage their senses. Arts and craft activities were also available but most importantly the children enjoyed snack and rhyme time!
The parents were provided with information from the South Eastern HSC Trust Speech and Language Therapists about how to support their child’s communication development. The Therapists led a structured rhyme time session for the parents and children to participate in and they practiced how to communicate using ‘Makaton’, a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate, together through songs and listening games.
Parents have provided very positive feedback on the sessions with one commenting, “I enjoyed meeting other parents with children with Down Syndrome, I was able to chat with them about their children and how they deal with different situations, as well as sharing my own experience.”
Another parent who attended the group said, “This was such a friendly, relaxed group. We all benefitted from the excellent advice, support and information from the Speech and Language Therapists and other staff. The support and company of the other members of the group was also really beneficial.
“My son and I have really enjoyed the group and the information pack included some very useful tools to use going forward! Hopefully, they will be able to have more sessions in the near future.”