For Professionals


The intellectual abilities of children with Down Syndrome were underestimated historically. Today we know that there is much potential to progress through as mainstream school career with intervention from an early age. Over the last decade, inclusion has become a world trend in special needs education.

Each year in Europe, Australia and America, more children with Down Syndrome than ever before are entering community preschools, attending their local mainstream primary school and joining in social activities with typically developing siblings and friends.

DSIEF is a young and progressive foundation, which implements international best practice in inclusive education through our Early Impact programme. Early Impact is the first full inclusion project for children with Down Syndrome in South Africa.

We offer educators:

  • Support based on comprehensive research
  • Advice on the adaptation of the curriculum
  • Training for teachers and facilitators

Presently inclusive education within the South African context is still in its infancy. In order to succeed in this objective, some critical questions need to be raised:

  • What does successful Inclusive Education look like in reality?
  • How can I offer Inclusive Education without turning my school into special needs school?
  • What is the difference between Full Inclusion and Single Inclusion?
  • How can we adapt educational strategies to meet the needs of children with special needs?

DSIEF shares information and training with principals and teaching staff about proven concepts of inclusive education.

We are offering opportunity for preprimary and primary schools to join the dialogue and to partner with us in achieving our vision.

For more information contact:


Therapists are actively involved in the Early Impact programme of inclusive education. Together we can break new ground in the development of children with Down Syndrome in South Africa.

Be part of it! Contact us and create synergies.

For more information contact:

Our network

Over the last year, we have developed a strong network of professional therapists who have helped the children within the Early Impact programme and privately.
Consult us with your knowledge and benefit from our research and network with international Down Syndrome related organisation.

For more information contact:

A selection of professionals who share our vision:

Tania Botoulas
Speech Therapist & Audiologist
The Word Shop

Carol Cornell
Medpages website

Sue Geben
Music Therapy

Nicole Painter
Occupational Therapy – Muscle Mania

Anne Vermaak
Flairs Gymnastics Club
CC No: 2008/074594/23
Flairs Sports

Anni Goedhals
Synergy Movement Studio
Synergy Movement

Chantal van Ginkel
Education Consulting
Ons Spectrum

Karen Fieggen
Clinical Genetic Services

Impuls 21 e.V – Germany
German Association – Support of Children with DS

Training & Workshops

A new generation of children with special needs will shortly be arriving at your school gate or practice room door.
Research has repeatedly indicated that stimulation during early developmental stages improves the chances of children with special needs developing to their fullest potential.
DSIEF holds public seminars and workshops to promote:

  • Continuing education
  • Positive public attitudes
  • Stimulating home environment

Both the public and professionals will benefit from learning more about the special learning profile, typical medical conditions and developmental challenges of children with Down Syndrome.

For more information contact: