North East Lincolnshire Down's Syndrome Family Support Group

Supporting children and adults with Down's syndrome and their families in North East Lincolnshire. Charity number 1154260

North East Lincolnshire Down's Syndrome Family Support Group

Sponsored walk to raise funds for IT equipment for the Communication Group - report by Debbie Whiting.

It all started when Donna Elliott, one of our mums who attends the Communication Group every Thursday with her gorgeous son Henry came to me and said she was going to organise a 'LITTLE' sponsored walk to raise funds to buy an iPad and the new apps from the Down Syndrome Educational Trust that I had just been telling the group about.  I expected this would be a small gathering of children hopefully generating funds for one iPad for us to share around the group - perhaps each child having it for a week each. Well I was wrong as what Donna made happen was far from a 'LITTLE' event! :-)

I arrived on the 1st of July 2012 at Weelsby Woods with my daughter Celice, her push along trike, picnic and teddy dressed up for the teddy bears picnic after the walk (prize for the best dressed teddy), to see lots of children with their teddies, a huge gazebo at our starting point and a photographer snapping away!

Donna had organised the risk assessment, distributed all the sponsor forms and had organised a treasure hunt around the woods for the children! It was a brilliant morning with the children being greeted at the end of the walk by two teddy bears - Henry's Dad Darren and his friend Russell checking off each child’s treasure hunt sheet to check they had spotted everything on the way round and giving them a prize.

Special thanks to Teddy Bears Darren Burnett and Russell Swan for all their hard work! Special thanks to Mark for his generous help and Leigh and Rob Smith for their support. Thanks to Rebecca Smith for her fab face painting. Thank you to Dale Thompson for her kind donation from funds raised at the charity ball she organised and also for coming and visiting our group.

A HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO TOOK PART AND RAISED MONEY FOR US!

The biggest thank you of all though has to be for Donna Elliott who made this walk happen and has in total raised £2820.50 with still more funds to come in!

We think we will have enough to provide each child with their own iPad for their sole use with apps from the Down Syndrome Educational Trust and many other beneficial apps for our children. This is so amazing as children with DS are visual learners who need lots of repetition and also errorless learning. These apps provide this and having an iPad each for their exclusive use that these children can also use at school will be so beneficial. Giving them the tools to continue to keep exceeding expectations and reach their full potential. These apps and touch screen computers not only play to the STRENGTHS of our children’s learning profile but also overcome Fine Motor skill difficulties. More information below, but I want to say on behalf of all the members of the group.

"Donna you are amazing and we are all massively grateful thank you so much!"

Information about Down Syndrome Education International:

Down Syndrome Education International is working with developers to create new learning opportunities for children with Down's syndrome using portable devices including iPads and iPods. Recently released apps support language, memory and number skills development.

Computerised educational activities have the potential to offer significant benefits for young people with Down's syndrome, with an emphasis on the visual presentation of information and opportunities to encourage lots of practice. DSE is working with partners in the UK, Europe and the US to create apps that target the developmental needs and learning styles of young people with Down's syndrome. Some of the first of these apps are now available.

Special Words from Special iApps teaches children to recognise written words, using pictures and sounds, on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The app has 3 games with increasing difficulty, Match Pictures, Match Words and Match Both.

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Special Words comes with the vocabulary and pictures from the early steps of DSE’s See and Learn Language and Reading programme, comprising of 96 written words children use in their early vocabulary.

It includes matching pictures, written and spoken words, in 8 languages: American and British English, Spanish, Catalan, French, German, Italian and Swedish. Users can easily replace the words and re-record the audio in any other language their child uses. Users can add more words, pictures and sounds for family members, friends, and familiar objects, to increase their child’s interest, and further develop their vocabulary.

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Special Words was developed by Special iApps, a social enterprise founded by parents of a child with Down's syndrome who have many years of experience in both education and software. Special iApps is donating a proportion of the global sales of Special Words to Down Syndrome Education International.