OUTREACH SUPPORT EARLY-INTERVENTION (EI) PROGRAMME

View Point One

The Down Syndrome Association Gauteng has developed, all it’s outreach and support programmes in close co-operation with the communities they are implemented in.

View Point Two

Over 75% of the communities we serve are disadvantaged by poverty and social exclusion. Our services are therefore free of charge and designed to be logistically and materially accessible, and executed in partnership with local service providers.

View Point Three

Our programmes are managed to provide ongoing support that empowers communities to accommodate people with disabilities.

Overview

Children born with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, are the same as any other child, only differently-abled.

With the right support, love and understanding from birth, they are able to achieve so much in their lives. All they ask for, is respect and the chance at the same opportunities. Their faith in humanity is unconditional.

Children born with Down syndrome can and do grow up to live long, happy and fulfilled lives.

WE ALSO DO – OUTREACH PREVENTION AND INTERVENTION PROGRAMMES SERVICES THAT ADDRESS DISABILITY

Education, advocacy and support to access professional counselling services and alternative safe accommodation for youth and adults with disabilities who have suffered abuse or neglect.

Awareness campaigns which address disability and violence against people with disabilities.

THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES AND SERVICES FORM PART OF THE OUTREACH (EI) PROGRAMME

Childhood Development

Health Checks and Therapy

Awareness and Education

Support and Access to safe alternative accommodation for those who suffer abuse, including the destitute and abandoned

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Home-Based Care and Skills Development Training

Self-Help Group Development Training

Families Programme (Counselling for Individuals and Groups)

Interventions focused on stimulation and structured upliftment activities

Our Lives Matter

THE OUTREACH SUPPORT EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAMME: OUTCOMES

White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD)
Approved by Cabinet on 9 December 2015
The WPRPD is built on nine (9) Strategic Pillars
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The Down Syndrome Association Gauteng Outreach Support Early Intervention Programme aligns with the following strategic pillars outlined in the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD):

Strategic Pillar 4: Promoting and Supporting the Empowerment of Children, Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

Strategic Pillar 6: Strengthening the Representative Voice of Persons with Disabilities.

SHARE THE JOURNEY – ‘A message to parents’
CONGRATULATIONS ON THE BIRTH OF YOUR NEW BABY!

Although things may not be the way you had planned, please enjoy every moment with your precious little bundle. You will probably be feeling very overwhelmed by everything right now. Some of these feelings may be shock, sadness and numbness. It is normal and acceptable for parents to go through a period of mourning for the imagined, or hoped-for, child they expected. Once you have said “good-bye” to the baby you expected, it will be easier for you to embrace the new baby into your heart and life.

As shock fades, you may experience other reactions such as rejection, disbelief, anxiety, anger, disappointment and denial. This too is normal. Discuss these feelings with someone you trust. You will need someone who will listen, more than someone with all the answers. Be kind and patient with yourself. Always remember that it is no-one’s fault that your child has Down syndrome. It is important to remember that nothing you did before or during pregnancy caused Down syndrome. Down syndrome occurs in all races, in all social classes and in all countries throughout the world.

Do not hide the fact that your baby has Down syndrome. Tell grandparents, family and friends as soon as the diagnosis is medically confirmed and as soon as you are ready. You will benefit enormously from their support. Remember they will take their cue from you. If you are positive about your baby, they will be too. The more your child is exposed to your family and community, the sooner understanding and acceptance will occur.

Like all parents of a new baby, there is much to learn. However, you have the benefit of years of ongoing research, which has been documented to help you through how and what to do. Do not be too hard on yourself or be nervous – you’re certainly not alone. In fact, there’s an entire organisation of people just like yourself who are willing to share your experiences. Seek information in your own time once you feel ready to cope. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, it is your right! New information develops daily. Never stop reading. Never stop learning.

Children with Down syndrome can and do grow up to live long, happy and fulfilled lives. Provided they are allowed the opportunities, they will develop self-help skills and independence. They can thrive well into their fifties and beyond, facing many of the challenges we all encounter. Many children are now being integrated successfully into mainstream schools. Many individuals with Down syndrome follow high profile careers in the world of acting, modelling, music, sport, computer technology and motivational speaking.

Allow your child the opportunity to develop to his full potential. Never ever let Down syndrome be the ceiling for your child’s achievements. Although there might be delays in the learning process, aim high! Share his journey to independence with him and let him make you proud.

The birth of a baby is an exciting and happy time for the whole family.

Rest assured that this occasion is no different. Your baby has the same needs and will require nurturing, care and love just like ALL babies. Never forget that your child is a baby first and has Down syndrome second. Your child, will bring you much joy and love and will teach you about patience and understanding and the true meaning of unconditional love.

You have embarked on a journey. Enjoy and appreciate all the wonderful things this journey has to offer. May you and your family be blessed with the new arrival and may you find much love and happiness with your child – who just happens to have an extra chromosome. ENJOY YOUR BABY!