Update; Resumption of Early Intervention Programme

Dear Parents

I hope you and your families are keeping well and settling into a ’new’ normal. We know it has been a busy couple of weeks as many family members return to work, school / preschool after a long summer!

We want to take this opportunity to update you on the Early Intervention Home Teaching Service. There have been a few changes in the background following the recent AGM.

Many of you will know Rebecca Smyth who has been the Early Intervention Coordinator for a number of years now. She has decided to step back from this role and it will now fall to us – Ann Fallon and Andrea McArdle – to fill these big shoes.

A little bit about us … we are both Mammies of three, living in Drogheda, who have little ones currently enrolled in the Early Intervention Programme. Bobby is just shy of 2 years of age and Joanie is just over 2 and a half so we fully appreciate how important this service is to our families. We are delighted to be able to assist with this programme and are working towards its resumption with the Branch Committee and the home tutors.

We know some families have enquired when the service will restart and we had hoped that it would be from 7 September. However, we have been asked by Down Syndrome Ireland (head office) to postpone its resumption, based on current HSE advice, until at least the 21 September. This is basically to allow a period of time for the schools to return safely and monitor if there is any immediate impact on the spread of Covid-19 within the community.

We should mention that the Branch Committee has been working hard over the summer to establish a COVID-19 Response Plan that includes a range of procedures and guidelines relating to each of its services in advance of their re-commencement, which includes finalising the protocols for the Early Intervention Programme. Please be assured that the safety of our families, children and home tutors is our absolute priority and we will be circulating the finalised protocols well in advance of the service resuming so that each family has time to consider what is involved and if they are comfortable to proceed with visits at this time. As Rebecca mentioned in an earlier email, we understand every child and family circumstances can differ so there is no issue if you wish to suspend these visits temporarily.

We will be in touch again soon to update you on developments and please feel free to contact us at any stage if you have any queries or concerns. You can contact us by emailing us at earlyinterventionprogrammedslm@gmail.com.

In the meantime, stay safe and well.

Kind regards

Ann and Andrea

Ann Fallon and Andrea McArdle

Early Intervention Programme Coordinators

Down Syndrome Ireland

Louth/Meath Branch

Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers

Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers

Olive Buckeridge, DSI Early Years Specialist runs a weekly Louth/Meath Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers on Tuesday each week on Zoom.

The Session will run on Tuesdays at 11.15AM

The sessions are informal with lots of Singing, Signing and some Vocabulary and there is no limit on the numbers just that they are for Parents and Toddlers.

Olive want to stress that Parents can dip in and out of them and use them as a support.

The Log-In details will be sent out by email. If you do not receive the email please contact Brendan on secretarydslm@gmail.com to receive it.

Preschool Speech Sound Practice

Preschool Speech Sound Practice

Olive Buckeridge is running a Speech Practice Group for Pre School Children on Zoom.

These are not intervention groups they are an opportunity to practice speech sounds. They are very general and they do not replace speech therapy sessions.

Olive will be running this online speech group on Thursdays at 2pm which will focus on a different sound weekly.

(Please note this is not a speech and language therapy session)

The Log-In details will be sent out by email. If you do not received the email please contact Brendan on secretarydslm@gmail.com to receive it.

Each week Olive will be focusing on a different sound and Olive will sent a little workbook in advance.

Branch AGM Monday, August 24th, 2020 at 8.00pm

Notice of Louth/Meath Branch AGM on Monday, August 24th, 2020 at 8.00pM

In accordance with Branch Rules, the Annual General Meeting of the Louth Meath Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland will be held on Monday, August 24th, 2020 at 8.00pm by Video Conference on the Zoom Platform.

According to our Memorandum and Articles of Association, Section12 (g), the rules governing the frequency and conduct of an AGM apply to the Branch AGM. The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement is urging all companies to abide by their companies deadlines during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Although things are improving with regard to COVID-19 within the Country, it is unlikely that we will be able to hold a full physical meeting in the coming months. The Branch Committee have considered various options and feel that, with the increased use of video conference call technology, it will be possible to hold our AGM virtually.

Eligible members (Full members who have renewed their membership for the year 2020) are entitled to attend the meeting but must first register by email (secretarydslm@gmail.com) with the Branch, their intention to attend. After registering with the Branch, the eligible member will be emailed further details including a Log-in link.  
If you have not yet renewed your Membership for 2020, you can still renew it. Details on renewing your membership can be found on our website https://dsilmb.ie/becomeamember/. It’s very important for all members to pay their membership as they will not be covered by insurance for any branch activities that they are involved in. All parents of children availing of the Early Intervention (Home Teacher) Programme, the Funding Scheme or any other activity or event organised by the branch must pay their membership each year.

Free Online Classes in Art and Computer Skills

The branch is very much aware that many of our adult members are missing out on learning opportunities because of the closure of services and classes due to the COVID-19 situation.

We are delighted to have been allocated tuition hours resources from the Louth Community Education Service of the Louth Meath Education and Training Board.

These tuition hours will support online classes in the areas of Art and Computer Skills. The two courses will be tailored to the needs of our members to help them to maintain/develop their artistic and computer skills over the next two months.

The classes will be delivered online to a class of approx’ 6-10 students. This will allow for a good level of interaction between the tutors and the students. We have had some very good feedback recently from members engaging in online classes and meetings.

We expect that this will form an increasingly important part of educational provision in the future and we invite our adult members to give it a try through these classes. This is a great opportunity especially if you haven’t done online classes before.

If you are interested in a class in Art or Computer Skills(or both), please email your contact details to:
Mike Egan at mike@downsyndrome.ie or call 085.8618866.

The weekly class times will be arranged to best suit the availability of the students and tutors. Give Mike a call if you have any questions

Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers 9th June at 11.15AM

Olive Buckeridge, DSI Early Years Specialist runs a weekly Louth/Meath Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers on Tuesday each week on Zoom.

The next Session will be on Tuesday 9th June at 11.15AM

The sessions are informal with lots of Singing, Signing and some Vocabulary and there is no limit on the numbers just that they are for Parents and Toddlers.

Olive want to stress that Parents can dip in and out of them and use them as a support.

The Log-In details have been sent out by email. If you have not received the email please contact Brendan on secretarydslm@gmail.com to receive it.

Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers on Tuesdays

Olive Buckeridge, DSI Early Years Specialist runs a weekly Louth/Meath Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers on Tuesday each week on Zoom.

The next Session will be on Tomorrow Tuesday 26th May at 11.15.

The sessions are informal with lots of Singing, Signing and some Vocabulary and there is no limit on the numbers just that they are for Parents and Toddlers.

Olive want to stress that Parents can dip in and out of them and use them as a support.

The Log-In details have been sent out by email. If you have not received the email please contact Brendan on secretarydslm@gmail.com to receive it.

COVID 19 IS HERE

It is everyone’s responsibility to help prevent or slow down the spread of the virus with the new Phasing taking place – in our COVID-19 resource section, Down Syndrome Ireland have collected all of the most up to date information and materials to help educate and support our members and their families during this most difficult time.

Find all of the resources and latest news here: https://bit.ly/35UVaf1

Stay safe and well everyone 💜😷🧤

#ShareTheJourney#StayAtHome#StaySafe#Covid19Ireland#DownSyndrome

Parent/Toddler Group by Olive Buckeridge for our Branch

Olive Buckeridge, DSI Early Years Specialist will run a weekly Louth/Meath Zoom Session for Parents & Toddlers on Tuesday each week on Zoom.

The first Session will be on Tuesday 19th May at 11.15. 

The sessions are informal with lots of  Singing, Signing and some Vocabulary and there is no limit on the numbers just that they are for Parents and Toddlers.

Olive want to stress that Parents can dip in and out of them and use them as a support. 


Olive will send a link with a Password each week to the Branch and we will send it on to our Parents and Toddlers.