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Parents of School-Aged Children

Parents of School Age Children

The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC) believes that informed, involved parents are the best educational advocates for their children with Down syndrome. To that end, the MDSC offers parents and educators who work with students with Down syndrome accurate resources and information necessary for understanding and obtaining the supports and services needed to succeed in school and in life.

“There is no more powerful advocate than a parent armed with information and options." Rod Paige, Secretary of Education

According to education experts, successful inclusion requires schools to value parent input and appreciate that parents understand best their child's strengths and challenges. The Down Syndrome Education International Trust, an international organization dedicated to raising levels of educational achievement among children with Down syndrome, points to the wealth of skills and knowledge that parents have to offer schools:

  • Parents have knowledge of their child in out-of-school settings that can aid assessments, target setting, planning curriculum activities and managing behavior
  • Parents can support curriculum targets with out-of-school activities
  • Parents can suggest and provide materials and topics to support learning in school
  • Parents can help pupils to generalize the skills learned in school to everyday life
  • Parents are an invaluable part of the education team and if they are not fully included both the school and the pupil will be disadvantaged
  • Parents are often very knowledgeable about the development and education of children with Down syndrome - they can be an expert resource
  • Parents value the support that they receive from education professionals

In order for your child to receive the high quality education and supports he or she needs and deserves it is important to build and maintain a strong, positive relationship with everyone who plays a key role in educating your child. We believe children benefit most from their education when parents and educators work together as partners. Ensuring a team effort and keeping the focus on collaboration will foster the best results.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is a process.
Working together is success.”
~ Henry Ford

Important Links and Documents

Federation for Children with Special Needs Parent Information Center
 Massachusetts Parent Information and Resource Center (PIRC)
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Special Education Parent Information
 Down Syndrome Education International Trust - Issues and Information