Peterborough Area Down's Group recognises that speech and language therapy is one of the most important interventions for our members if they are to reach their potential in their social and cognitive development. Individuals with Down's Syndrome can have varying degrees of difficulty in their speech and language skills, with many presenting with a complex speech and language disorder associated with their diagnosis of Down's Syndrome which requires specialist support. Academic progress and socialisation is significantly undermined when these communication difficulties are not effectively addressed. Sadly, we are finding that locally commissioned services are not always able to provide the specialised speech and language therapy that our members need. We also have a number of members that have sensory processing needs that require additional support.
PADSG prides itself on providing speech and language therapy to its members for over 10 years. We do not charge for this service as we want to ensure that it is accessible to all our members, regardless of income. We are very fortunate to have a specialist speech and language therapist and an occupational therapist specialising in sensory processing to work with our younger members and their parents and TAs in small group sessions on a monthly and bi-monthly basis. Within the last 18 months these therapists also provided a practical training sessions on speech and language therapy and sensory processing and how the two therapies complement one another which parents and TAs found highly beneficial. We also support our older members with the help of another expertly qualified and experience therapist with a speech and language therapy group for our teens and young adults, focusing on building their skills and confidence in their social skills, supporting them to build on existing and new relationships and for inclusion in education, the workplace and the community.
Speech, language and occupational therapy accounts for a significant proportion of PADSG's annual expenditure and we are very grateful to those individuals and organisations that have been generous with their grants, fundraising and donations. Without this funding we would not be able to continue providing these valuable services to our members. If you know of any grants or funding opportunities that we may be able to access to keep this valuable service going, please let us know! We are also very thankful to children's charity, Spurgeons, for their generosity in allowing us to use their Honeyhill and Jigsaw Children Centres in Peterborough to provide the sessions.