Early development

We support local organisations to train parents and professionals that work with people with Down syndrome about how to support the early development of babies and children with Down syndrome.

The challenge

In many countries around the world parents and professionals working with children with Down syndrome do not understand how children with Down syndrome develop and learn.

This means they struggle to support children to develop to their full potential and get the best possible start in life.

What we do

We provide in-depth training on how children with Down syndrome develop and learn and how best to support them in their early development. This covers key areas including:

  • Early communication
  • Cognition and play
  • Speech, language and memory

Long term impact

Informed families and professionals can provide children with Down syndrome with the early development support they need to thrive.

The first years of life are crucial for the development of children with Down syndrome. If they receive the right support from knowledgeable parents and professionals at this stage, they are well set up to live fulfilling and healthy lives.


In Nepal we worked with the Down Syndrome Association of Nepal to provide 44 parents of children with Down syndrome with 3 days of training of early development.

Read more about the project here:

Nepal early development


In Tajikistan we trained a group of 25 people including parents, teachers, social workers and health professionals, on early development and primary education of children with Down syndrome. The project was supported by Open Society Foundations.

Read more about the project here:

Tajikistan early development

Parent support

We provide parents with emotional support and accurate information about Down syndrome to make sure they are ready to support and care for their child with Down syndrome.

The challenge

Parents who learn that their baby has Down syndrome can feel anger, fear, sadness and many other emotions. They often do not understand what Down syndrome is and what it means for their child.

Without support parents can struggle to accept their child and to provide them with the loving, secure environment they need.

What we do

We run workshops providing parents with emotional support, information about Down syndrome and a chance to hear real life experiences of people with Down syndrome and their families. The workshops include:

  • A chance to meet and share experiences with other parents;
  • Information from key professionals about Down syndrome;
  • Testimony from adults with Down syndrome about their lives;
  • Testimony from parents with grown up children with Down syndrome.

Long term impact

Parents who were involved in the project in Peru said the workshops changed how they perceived their child's potential for the future.

Early access to support and information about Down syndrome is crucial to ensuring parents accept their baby with Down syndrome and can provide them with the love and care they need.


In Peru we worked with Sociedad Peruana de Sindrome Down to provide information kits and run informal welcome meetings for new parents of babies with Down syndrome.

Read more about the project here:

Peru parent support


We are working with Asociacion Guatemalteca para el Sindrome de Down to provide training and emotional support to parents of babies and young children with Down syndrome.

Read more about the project here:

Guatemala parent support

Read about our other areas of work here: