All mums to be are offered screening to find out if there is a chance their unborn baby has Down Syndrome but what is Down Syndrome, what does it mean for your family/your child and what support is available to you?
Some families decide not to continue with the pregnancy, some go on for further testing and some decide to do nothing at all. There is no right or wrong way to process the news that there is a chance (not risk) that your unborn baby may have Down Syndrome. Our advice to you is to ensure your research and information is accurate and to reach out to local support groups. We believe that as part of any expectant parents’ research talking to parents who are walking this path is crucial.
When you are ready, Shine21 is here to support you in whichever way we can.
Who are Shine21?
We are a North Yorkshire based charity which supports children aged 5 and under with Down Syndrome and their families. We strive to raise awareness of the condition and ensure our children are treated fairly and equally in day-to-day life. Shine21 is run by parents who have children with Down Syndrome and are on the same journey as you.
What we do
Our ethos is ‘empowering parents to help their little stars shine’; we achieve this by:
Our development groups are unique in the fact there are only 4 children per session. This allows each child tailored support to meet their needs and developmental stage. They cover a wide range of areas including sensory play, speech sounds, vocabulary as well as physical and social development. As the children grow different resources will be introduced such as See and Learn, Maths Mum and Colour Semantics.
Shine21 is passionate about listening to the needs of the families. We have funded a number of professionals to discuss specialist areas such as toilet training and feeding. When a parent asks for support we do all we can to help.
All children with Down Syndrome will have a level of delayed speech. It is typical that our children will use Makaton to communicate until their oral speech develops. To ensure you are fully equipped to support your child we offer fully funded Level 1 training to families delivered by a qualified Makaton tutor.
Support and Advice
Receiving a high chance or confirmed diagnosis can be overwhelming. However, we feel strongly that being able to talk to someone who is on the same journey and has experienced the same emotions is essential. We do not judge, we are just here to listen and support.
We hold fortnightly zoom sessions for parents to chat, discuss any concerns and most importantly celebrate the children’s achievements.
From information books to specialist resources, there is a lot of information and tools available to support your child. Although it is fantastic that there are these interventions, this can be overwhelming and costly. Shine21 has researched into the best resources available and purchased them so you can borrow them at no cost to you. We also provide advice and support around the use of these resources, so you do not feel outfaced and understand how to use them with your child.
Shine21 in the eyes of our families
Here is the feedback from the people who we strive to support and are at the core of every decision we make.
“Thank you for everything that you are all doing. It really does make a difference. When we start on this journey, it’s very overwhelming but knowing the support is there is amazing and we do feel lucky.”
“Thank you, it’s amazing the support we feel we receive from everyone here. As newbies you’ve made us feel so welcome and supported. We all can’t wait to get to know everyone”
“It’s safe to say we have an extended family and we are very lucky. Just a big Thank You for everything you’re putting in place for our gorgeous little ones”
“We wouldn’t want to be on this journey without you”
“I just wanted to say a big thank you for all you do; this charity and the people who are involved have made such a massive impact on our lives. Thank you for the resources, the groups, the support and just the everyday amazingness. I am so grateful my daughter gets to attend the groups and today has reminded me how lucky I am to have you all”
Time to shine?
If you’d like to see your little star shine even brighter, please get in touch so we can warmly welcome you and your family to Shine21.