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Sunshine & Smiles

Health and Development

Down Syndrome and Learning Disability

The Down Syndrome Association website has a wealth of information on all things to do with Down Syndrome. 

There is also a really useful guide from Leeds NHS Community Healthcare for parents of children with Down Syndrome in Leeds, often known as the 'Down Syndrome Health Pathway'- click here to download it. 


Learning Disability & Autism Team - Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust

This team are there to help with hospital visits & admissions.

Click here for a leaflet about the service, or they can be contacted on 0113 2066836 or .

They have produced a 'Hospital Passport' which you can download and fill in here. This is a document you can take to hospital if admitted to help professionals understand your child or adult with learning disabilities better. 


Speech and Language (including feeding)

Leeds Community Healthcare

Here is the main webpage for Leeds Community Healthcare Children's Speech and Language Therapy

They also have a really useful 'Toolkit' or Speech and Language resources for all ages and stages which can be found here.

Referral information for NHS Speech and Language Support -The referral links are halfway down the page - parents and carers can refer as can schools and settings.



Eg(Training) Ltd is a personalised and responsive service to support individuals with communication or swallowing needs. They have a useful document on Managing Feeding Issues in Children with Down Syndrome which can be found here

Supporting Feeding & Oral Development in young children with Down Syndrome, Congenital Heart Disease and Feeding difficulties - This comprehensive online booklet has been created as a joint project between various charities. 

Communication Resources

Here is Sunshine and Smiles own document of tips to support early speech development. 

The bbc also have a resource bank aimed at helping to develop children's communication skills, called Tiny Happy People

Makaton - Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs and speech to enable people to communicate. It has been very useful to many people with Down Syndrome. At Sunshine & Smiles we run a Makaton course for babies aged 6-12 months, email or phone us to find out more.

Intensive Interaction - The techniques of Intensive Interaction were originally developed from research into how young infants naturally develop the highly complex and interrelated skills and understandings of human social communication. These skills and understandings develop over time within, and across, a range of responsive and dynamic social interactions, mainly with their primary care-givers. The frequent repetition of successful Intensive Interaction activities provides the basis for the activities to gradually develop in content, duration and complexity. Intensive Interaction is both highly social and mainly responsive in nature, rather than being directive, or goal or target orientated. The approach focuses on using the ‘Fundamentals of Communication’ 1 as a means of establishing and developing improved social communication exchanges.


Private Speech and Language Therapists or companies


Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy

Leeds Community Healthcare Physiotherapy

Leeds Community Healthcare Physiotherapy Webpage

Leeds Community Healthcare Occupational Therapy Webpage

There is a joint Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy drop in clinic which runs at venues across the city, for pre-school aged children. You can find the dates and locations for the 2022 sessions here


We have found some websites with a good selection of supportive shoes and sandals. If you think your child or young person might need specialist footwear do speak to a physiotherapist, who can refer to orthotics. 


Viktor Shoes


Heart conditions

Here is the Down Syndrome Association's information on heart conditions in those with Down Syndrome. 

Children’s heart surgery fund- A Leeds charity providing support for children born with Congenital Heart Defects and their families.

Contact details for the Cardiac Liaison Nurses at Leeds Teaching Hospitals 


Eyesight and Eye Health

Some information from Sunshine and Smiles on vision in children with Down Syndrome


Toilet training

Some information from Sunshine and Smiles on toilet training S&S toilet training doc

Down Syndrome UK has some useful facebook groups to join for information and peer support regarding toilet training:- This one is for under 5's and this one is for over 5's. 

Specialist Dentist

Specialist service providing dental care for patients who, for various reasons, cannot receive the treatment they need in a general dental practice.

The specialist dental service is a referral-only service, which means that a healthcare professional (e.g. family dentist, GP or Health Visitor) or social care professional would need to refer you to the service for assessment.

Contact & Referral Information 



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