Entries by Louisa

Speech therapy tips: 5 tips for pre-schoolers 

By Fiona Kenworthy, Clinical Director and Specialist Paediatric Speech-Language Therapist at www.smalltalktherapy.co.nz   For the last ten years, I’ve specialised in working with children with Down syndrome. I’ve seen the way ‘early intervention’ yields long-lasting benefits for the child and their family. ‘Early intervention’ for children usually means the first five years.   They are the […]

Easy as riding a bike…..

By Glen Jelley    Jessica was our first child of 3 and we knew at the 19 week scan that she was going to have down syndrome so had a bit of time to prepare and research.  She came into the world screaming her lungs out like any other child with people rushing around testing […]


Gentle guide to help parents enjoy their children

The Champion Centre in Christchurch has kindly agreed to provide a regular contribution to CHAT 21 to assist parents of young people with Down Syndrome. In this edition, Dr. Susan Foster-Cohen, Champion Centre Director reviews the guide Are You Worried About Your Child? Are you worried about your child? A guide to support families of […]

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From sign to word for Chat 21

From sign to word: One size does not fit all. INTRO: Early intervention experts Susan Foster-Cohen from the Champion Centre in Christchurch and Anne van Bysterveldt from the University of Canterbury have found some interesting patterns when researching the use of sign language alongside developing speech. In New Zealand, most children with Down syndrome are […]

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Vinnie and Rachel’s glorious wedding

We are Mrs and Mr Vaccarino By Vinnie Vaccarino On January 12th at St Luke’s Church in Havelock North in Hawkes Bay everything looked amazing and was ready to have perfect wedding for me and Rachel. I had a best man Gareth Smith and a groomsman Benji Oemcke. Rachel had three bridesmaids, our sisters Siobhan […]

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Logan’s journey to new happiness

NEW BEGINNINGS My son Logan is a 21 year old man with Down Syndrome, Autism, Dyspraxia and mild intellectual disability. Recently on our Facebook page I posted a video of Logan in action at the Living Options café in Alexandra, Central Otago. I would like to share our incredible journey over the last three years […]


Reality of living with Down syndrome

Living with Down Syndrome By Coen Lammers Having a daughter with Down syndrome is possibly the best thing that has happened to our family – as well as the most challenging. Watching Bella flourish for the past 16 years, we know that living with Down syndrome is not a curse or punishment, but a terrific, […]

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Duncan Small, a remarkable human being

Duncan Small – A Man of the Land Charlotte Gendall looks back at the life of Duncan Small a remarkable man with Down syndrome who left a big legacy in his rural community. Shepherd, shearer, dog trialist, horseman, bartender and all round man of the land: Duncan Small was a big character around the small […]

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Keratoconus screening saves our son’s eyesight 

Keratoconus screening programme saves our son’s eyesight By Karen Nyenkamp My husband and I own a company that supplies optical equipment to optometrists and hospital. We have always supported the Special Olympics Healthy Eyes programme by donating the equipment they use during the National games. At the last Special Olympics National games held in Wellington […]

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Joe Payton celebrates birthday in style

Joe Payton has good reason to celebrate his 40th birthday this year. Joe completed Run Away: Hawke’s Bay International Marathon over the weekend and succeeded in more ways than one. Joe was running for his son, Otis, who turns 10 this year and has Down syndrome. Otis, like many kids with Down syndrome, faced an […]