We aim to be at the forefront of developmental and educational support for children with Down Syndrome, advocating early intervention and the implementation of inclusive education curricula in mainstream schools

Some of our work

Down Syndrome Inclusive Education Foundation

First Contact

First contact is an outreach programme run by DSIEF whereby new parents of children with Down syndrome are offered support and advice free of charge through leaflets at hospitals and clinics, telephone and house visits.
Down Syndrome Inclusive Education Foundation

Upside Down

Parents have an enormous influence on the abilities, behaviour and social network of their children. Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. DSIEF hopes to ensure that parents (as well as families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals) understand that it is essential to enroll the child into an early intervention programme.
Down Syndrome Inclusive Education Foundation

Early Impact – Preprimary

In 2011, DSIEF in partnership with Noah’s Ark preschool in Cape Town, launched a pilot inclusive education project called the Early Impact programme. By 2013, the programme supported 8 children across three classes aged between 3-6 years. Early Impact models international best practice in implementation of inclusive education curricula in a mainstream school environment.

From our friends

The families of Noah’s Ark are supportive and proud of our ‘diamonds’ and we welcome them and their families into our school family. Our staff have grown as a result and our school has benefitted from developing our awareness and becoming an inclusive school community.

sandie mazzolini

DSIEF is pioneering something not only unique but also needed. After spending time with them, it is clear the children are living out their motto of being “more alike than different”. The education all children at the school receive is more than academic. They also learn how to interact and embrace the differences in each other. This is necessary for our modern society. Great work!

What an awesome journey! I would otherwise never have known how intelligent, tenacious, friendly and loving children with Down syndrome could be. Thank you for teaching me.

sharon scholtz

The support … has been invaluable. I don’t think we would know as much or have felt so part of a group if not for
your active interest and care!

Naomi Luyt

Neuroscience: Down Syndrome


The FT reports on a recent study where researchers have identified a key trouble spot in the hippocampus that disrupts neural networks. Down’s syndrome is the most common genetic form of intellectual disability, caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21, but neuroscientists are only just beginning to understand how this disrupts neural networks in the […]

DSIEF in Paarl

Marilise and Jacques Hendri

Marilise Steenkamp joins as our new Paarl-based committee member of DSIEF, working towards establishing an Early Impact programme at Kinder Ark Pre-School in Paarl. Marilise is also our Afrikaans speaking First Contact representative. “Indien u verkies om met ‘n Afrikaanssprekende persoon te kontak, stuur jou epos aan marilise@down-syndrome.co.za” Marilise and husband De Bruyn have two boys – Jacques […]

Changing perspectives with Shéri Brynard

Sheri Brynard

Shéri Brynard, a 31 year old South African Self Advocate with Down Syndrome is an inspiration and a role model. Shéri will give the opening talk and 6 workshops will follow focusing on the needs of children with special needs. Talk and Seminars 9.00h – 12.30h 23 November 2013 Noah’s Ark Preprimary School, Olivia Rd, […]

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