Working with children with Down syndrome in early childhood

Lack of previous experience with children with Down syndrome may cause apprehension when faced with the teaching/supporting a child with Down syndrome. However, after receiving training in the form of additional knowledge and practical strategies that address the common learning needs and developmental delays of children with Down syndrome, most staff report their experience was much less daunting.

This 1 ½ hour workshop offers up to date information and practical guidance for preschool educators working with children with Down syndrome from birth to school age. The workshop information and skills are also easily transferable for children with other disabilities within your classrooms.


Sonia Bonadio | Family Support Coordinator / Training & Information Manager

Sonia is a social worker and a parent of a child with Down syndrome and has worked with services in the disability sector, mental health, maternity services, protective services and early intervention services.  In 2016 Sonia worked as a MyTime group facilitator for DSV and thoroughly enjoyed her time facilitating the group, providing her with a great opportunity to gain understanding and knowledge in many areas relating to families who have or who are caring for children who have Down syndrome.

Lucinda Bain | Training & Information Manager 

Lucy has worked in the disability and community development sectors for over fifteen years. Growing up with a sister who has Down syndrome developed her strong belief systems and passion to work towards a society that values true inclusion, equity and opportunities for all individuals. She previously worked at DSV as Adult Support Coordinator in 2006 and 2007. After continuing on to work at organisations such as YMCA Victoria, the Epilepsy Foundation, EACH, and Deakin University, she has once again found her niche at Down Syndrome Victoria. 

Paula Kilgallon | Education Consultant

Paula is an experienced teacher who has worked in primary schools in both Australia and overseas. She also has experience teaching socially disadvantaged children with Berry Street. Paula has post graduate qualifications in Psychology, having completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology and a Graduate Diploma in Professional Psychology with Monash University. Paula joined the Education Support Team in January 2019, and is committed to helping students achieve their goals.

Ro O’Dwyer | Education Consultant

Ro is an experienced primary teacher who has worked in a variety of mainstream schools across all levels. She has also worked as a Reading Recovery teacher and in the co-ordination and delivery of other literacy support programs. Ro joined the Education Support team this year and is looking forward to assisting and supporting students and teachers in the metropolitan area.

Topics covered

Learning strengths
Down Syndrome Victoria services
What is Down syndrome?
Current statistics, facts and myths
Medical issues
Supporting potential
Positive behaviour strategies
The power of language

“It was fantastic. Very helpful. And enjoyed the stories”

“Such a fabulous session – thank you”

"Could have listened to your stories all day”

“Excellent, duration great, covered all aspects and topics. Open and honest presenters”