Down Syndrome Ireland LouthMeath Branch provides support and information to over 350 families with a family member with Down syndrome in the counties of Louth & Meath. Down Syndrome Ireland LouthMeath Branch is run on a voluntary basis by parents of children with Down syndrome with the aid of a part time Administrator. DS Louth / Meath believes in supporting families to ensure the best quality of life possible for our members with Down syndrome. We work together, united in our aim to achieve respect, acceptance and equality within society for our members with Down syndrome.
The cost of running the Branch and managing the aforementioned programmes per annum is in excess of €150,000, the vast majority of which is raised by parents of children with Down syndrome. 100% of funds raised directly benefit our members with Down syndrome. Without the generosity of the people of the Counties Louth and Meath these vital Programmes would have to be curtailed.
What We Do
The Branch provides the following vital programmes for our members with Down syndrome:
Down Syndrome Louth / Meath manage an “Early Intervention Home Teacher Programme” for pre-school children (aged from 1 year to 6 years) with Down syndrome in the counties of Louth and Meath. This Programme was set up by the Down Syndrome Ireland LouthMeath Branch in 1982 as there was no State provided Home Teacher Programme available to children in the counties of Louth and Meath. There are no administrative costs associated with the Programme as it is managed on a completely voluntary basis by members of DS Louth / Meath who are themselves parents of children with Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome Ireland’s Latch On and MOTE Adult Literacy Programmes are run through the local branch network. The programmes are taught by a qualified teacher who has been accredited to teach the programme. The teacher is assisted by one or two tutors, depending on the class size. The maximum number of students per class is 12. The Louth Meath branch runs classes according to demand. The branch is currently running a class in Athboy, Co. Meath. Previous classes have run in Navan and Drogheda. Typically classes run for 2 full days per week, 30 weeks per year for 2 years. Our Louth Meath students, having completed the initial 2 year Latch On programme, have opted for a third year in which they are undertaking the MOTE programme and some Latch On extension modules.
The Saturday club was set up in 2016 by parents to provide a fun activity for our children, giving them a break from therapies and education etc. There are 11 children in the group – 8 boys and 3 girls aged from 11 to 16.
The Louth Meath Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland has a funding scheme of up to €600 for branch members.
All paid up members of Down Syndrome Ireland (DSI), Louth / Meath Branch are eligible to apply for inclusion on the Funding Scheme. The Funding Scheme will cover therapies, and sports / recreational activities that will benefit members with Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome Ireland LouthMeath run Parent link a support network for new parents giving advice and relevant information to new parents. Parent Link is a voluntary support and information service for new parents of babies with Down Syndrome in Louth and Meath and the surrounding areas. We are parents of children with Down Syndrome and trained in Parent Link by Down Syndrome Ireland. As parents we are familiar with the feelings and reactions of having a child with Down Syndrome in the family. New parents living in County Meath or Louth should contact Sirpa Makinen on 086 8614970 or Eleanor Cosgrove on 087-667 1393.
Tons Of Fun Tots baby/toddler playgroup is run by parents in St. Mary’s GAA clubrooms, Ardee. The group is suitable for babies/wobblers/toddlers from 6 months to preschool/school age. It’s a great chance to meet other parents & children!
- Information Events and Courses
The Branch runs events and courses throughout the year such as Numicon, Lámh and Handwriting classes. The branch also invites members from the member support team in DSI National Office to discuss issues such as Education, Speech & Language Therapy, behaviour etc.
- Coffee Mornings
The Branch runs Monthly Coffee Morning especially for our new Members to get to meet with other Families who have Children with Down Syndrome. Details can be found on our Facebook page.
- Social Events
DS Louth / Meath organises information evenings and social outings for parents and families, including our two very popular annual Christmas parties – one for children and one for teenagers/young adults with Down syndrome and their families, Disco’s during the year for our Teenagers and Adults and a Family Fun Day & Barbeque at the end of the Summer.
- Teenager & Adults Activities
Down Syndrome Ireland LouthMeath has an active Programme of activities for our teenage and young adult members, including bowling and tag rugby and Keep Fit which is organised by our parents.
New members and fresh ideas are always welcome and we invite you to visit our Social Media sites.For more information, please contact:
Brendan Stephenson (Branch Administrator)