Giving Kiwi Kids with Downs Syndrome a voice

Young person with Downs Syndrome .jpg

On average one child a week is born diagnosed with Downs Syndrome in Aotearoa. Diagnosis is often given prior to birth, so that supports can be put in place from the beginning. Every child is different, and the support needed varies although most will find that every child with this condition will require speech therapy.

Sarah Paterson-Hamlin CEO of UpsideDowns Education Trust says, “Having access to speech language therapy is vital for children diagnosed with Downs Syndrome.” She went on to highlight the shortfall in publicly funded support but they are determined that this will not be a barrier for young people to have access to speech language therapy.

The organization itself is parent-led and relies on donations. They support families nationwide, helping children with Downs Syndrome from birth to 21 years or until the young person leaves school. Communication is the key to enable each person to express themselves and therefore it is important to ensure people have access to the resources needed.

Parents are welcome to refer their child into the service. For more information visit

You can also email them on



Published 28 July 2021