COVID-19 Closure

We have made the decision to suspend all DSL activities for the foreseeable future.
  • 2020:
  • To all who donated
  • Thanks to the UL Students & people of Limerick who volunteered with our Dunnes Stores bag pack day in November for Down syndrome Ireland. To Dunnes Stores in the Jetland SC & on Childers Road for allowing us fundraise.
  • To the Crescent Shopping Centre & the Jetland Shopping Centre for facilitating our Carol Singing in December & again thank you to the people of Limerick for supporting us.
  • Special thanks to the choir from Scoil Mhathair De Abbeyfeale & Jackie & Eddie Carey who joined in with our Carol Singing
  • To all those who sold and bought our Fab 2020 DSL Calendar & Christmas cards – Thank You (Delish Café Castletroy, Castletroy Park Hotel, Talking Leaves Bookshop Castletroy, Radisson Hotel Limerick, Urban Co-Op Limerick, our own members and supporters).
  • To Dublin Coach for their donation of €500.
  • To NanoDiamond Products DAC in Shannon who raised €700 doing “Operation BiRow”.

Weekly News Digest - Down Syndrome Ireland

Dear Member,
These are very strange and challenging times and we really hope this email finds you and yours safe and well. We hope you enjoy this DSI Digest - a short, regular round-up of news from the DSI Team.

As always, we welcome your feedback. 

A Message From DSI

This is a uniquely stressful time for us all as we come to terms with a changed society, at least for the moment.

We at Down Syndrome Ireland will continue to serve our members and anyone who needs help during this difficult time. Our Member Support Team – who offer advice, support, and information for all ages – are on hand to help families with children and adults who have Down syndrome throughout Ireland. This is a worrying time for everyone, so don’t hesitate to pick up the phone if you need us. You can reach out to any of our team and you’ll find our contact details on our website – we can also still be reached at 014266500 and at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With schools and adult education classes closed, one of the things we have been asked is how to continue with learning.

Your child’s school may have sent homework to continue while the schools are closed. You may have SLT activities to work on. You may be continuing with our See and Learn Programme. Or you may have nothing structured in place, and want to know if you should find something.

We believe that the priority at the moment has to be whatever keeps you sane. If that’s plenty of structured activities, that’s great, and we’ll be increasing our online resources to help you find things to do. If it ends up being lots of screen time, that’s ok too. This is an unprecedented emergency situation, and reducing stress and anxiety for everyone in the family has to be the priority.

We will be posting suggestions each week for things that you could do at home. We’re busy creating resources for adults with Down syndrome to access on the website. They are suggestions, not instructions. You can also call or email.

Remember that everyday activities are positively educational. Learning how to make toast or make a sandwich involves planning, sequencing, language, fine motor skills, and there’s something to eat at the end of it!

Talking, listening, singing, dancing are also great things to do, with many positive effects.

If you can manage structured activities, the type of things that are always helpful are:

• Reading (reading to your child, reading together with your child, or encouraging them to read.)

• Writing, typing or drawing (or other fine motor skill activities such as Lego or playdough)

• Practical maths using things like cooking, laying the table, counting things, pairing socks, etc

• Movement. Try to get some movement into every day. If you need to play indoors, balloons are less likely to break windows than balls. Teenagers and adults can use their phones to count steps or play music and dance, or find an online exercise challenge.

It might be helpful to make a simple calendar, and put something in each day to look forward to. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated. Sitting down together with some popcorn to watch a favourite movie. Setting up a video chat with a friend or family member. Looking through old photos together. Playing a game.

Non-stop news reports are not good for anyone (particularly at the moment) but it’s important that people with Down syndrome understand what’s happening, and that the changes are only temporary. We will keep updating the guide to the virus that you can find here...

Remember that the most important thing at the moment is to keep your own stress to a minimum. The old airplane rule of putting on your own mask first applies here. Hopefully the measures in place will help to contain the spread of the virus, and we’ll all be able to get back to some kind of normality soon. In the meantime, mind yourselves, and call us if we can help with anything.

You can reach any of our team or you can call us on 014266500 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Take care and stay safe.


DSI contacts HSE regarding new Covid 19 testing requirements

We are aware of families’ concerns about the current testing guidelines for Covid 19 and how they may impact on people with Down syndrome.

We have requested confirmation from Minister for Health Simon Harris and HSE CEO Paul Reid that the particular needs of people with Down syndrome be taken into consideration when getting people for testing.

Continue reading the full article here...


Celebrating World Down Syndrome Day 2020 #LotsOfSocks4DSI

We'd like to thank everyone that got involved with our celebration for World Down Syndrome Day this year - with all events postponed due to social distancing in place, we asked our social media community to share their #LotsOfSocks4DSI online to mark this wonderful International day of celebration for all people with Down syndrome and spread some much-needed cheer.

We’d like to thank the thousands of fabulous people who rocked their most colourful and fun socks on the day and sharing their fabulous and fun images with us online on the day ?

Our #LotsOfSocks4DSI campaign also featured on RTE news that day. A huge THANK YOU to Rebecca and Damien Smyth and their beautiful children Georgina and Simon celebrating the day with their fabulous and fun socks!


Sarah & Chloe help celebrate WDSD

What a fabulous picture to wake up to last Sunday in The Sunday Times, Ireland edition featuring our beautiful Offaly branch members and sisters Sarah and Chloe, who has Down syndrome.

Here they are rocking #LotsOfSocks to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day with a little spring lamb.

These beautiful pictures were captured by their proud Dad James Crombie – thank you so much for sharing.


See and Learn Programme – Training Video (Vocab & Phrases)

See and Learn Programme – Training Video (Vocab & Phrases) featuring Early Years Specialist - Olive Buckeridge from Down Syndrome Ireland. Learning to talk is a particular challenge for most children with Down syndrome.

Difficulties with understanding and using language present obstacles in daily life and can be a major source of frustration.

See and Learn is an evidence-based, structured teaching programme which teaches speech, language and reading skills in small steps for children with Down syndrome up to 6 years of age. The programme is designed to help educators and parents provide young children with additional support and practice they need to learn language.

A Day To Celebrate and Support

“Please take the time to celebrate those around you who have Down Syndrome. Know that they are stronger than you will hopefully ever need to be, know that they are fighting for survival since the moment of conception, know that they have many minor and major health complications and know that they deserve your respect, love, friendship and kindness.”
Powerful words from Kildare Mum and Down Syndrome Ireland member Marie Brennan, whose twins Ruairí and Conn were born last January. Marie found out Conn was born with Down syndrome in the delivery suite. Many thanks, Marie for sharing your story in this weekend’s Irish Examiner, as we celebrated World Down Syndrome Day.
You can read Marie’s experiences here.

Thank you again, Marie, for sharing your story.

Communication Development Activities

Over the years, Olive Buckeridge our Early Years Specialist has used these activities in individual and group therapy sessions. These activities can be easily carried out at home as each activity is nice and short. You can do one, some or all of these activities. You may choose to do them daily or weekly, it’s completely up to you!

All you need for these activities is a little bit of space and toys/objects that you have in the house.

Dear Parents - Please find some activities that you can use at home to promote your baby/toddler/child’s communication development - You will find all of the information/instructions on the activity sheet to download here...

The activities focus on eye-contact, naming, action songs, cause and effect and teaching some important songs.

Please enjoy
??☺️ and stay safe.

Big Little Fix - Josh Garvey

Some of Ireland's leading designers and innovators try to make life a little easier for 15-year-old Dublin branch member Josh Garvey, who is non-verbal and has Down syndrome.

Josh uses a tablet to speak - but it's heavy, the volume is low, and it's full of distractions. Can games designer John O'Donnell come up with a communication system for Josh that can streamline everything and allows him to express himself, at home, at school, and in his all-important drama class?

Catch the replay on the RTÉ Player here...


New Adult Resources

We are delighted to share our new Adult Resource section for adults with Down syndrome - it is important to keep active in reading, writing, and physical activities while we are all isolated at home at this time.

Our resource pages are designed to help adults keep good habits with learning and offer other web-based activities to stave off boredom - please visit our new Adult Resource section here...

We will keep adding more ideas and resources in the coming weeks to help our adults stay busy and occupied - we hope you all enjoy the activities and stay safe.

Homemade Purple Run Fun

Thank you to Grainne Ni Allúin from our Galway branch for sharing a wonderful motivational and fun video with us - here she is with her two wonderful daughters Eimear and Siofra celebrating the spirit of our #DSIPurpleRun for World Down Syndrome Day.

What a fantastic idea to keep everyone active and in good health in these isolating times - Little Eimear looks particularly fab in her purple jacket and matching butterfly wings!

We look forward to seeing Grainne and the girls at the rescheduled Purple Run later this year - Stay safe everyone ??

Our Member Support Team will be providing more resources for our members, so please keep an eye on our social media and the next issue of the DSI Digest.
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Down Syndrome Ireland

Down Syndrome Ireland Unit 3, Park Way House,

Unit 3, Park Way House, Western Parkway Business Park, Ballymount Drive

Dublin, D D12HP70


Last modified on Saturday, 28 March 2020 15:26

Our Address

Unit 2 Castletroy Park Business Centre, Castletroy, Limerick.

Our Eircode is V94 D998

How to find us – We are opposite Castletroy Park Hotel & beside Castletroy Medical Centre, on the same Campus.

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