Speech and Language

Monthly speech and language sessions take place at our Centre and need to be booked in advance. We currently have three independent therapists running group sessions and one to one sessions catering for up to 50 children and young people with Down syndrome. We also have a therapist who specialises in oral motor and feeding.


Lauren Drake

Lauren Drake is currently delivering groups for our younger children. Lauren has worked with the Down syndrome training and support centre for approximately four and a half years. She is an Associate of Trinity College London (Formally Trinity Guildhall), and has delivered a range of communication focused interventions for children and adults of all ages; she has been highly commended for her work within this area; and is passionate about equipping individuals with skills to promote, encourage and aid their communication abilities. Lauren is currently undertaking research into how drama can facilitate and develop communicative abilities in individuals with Down syndrome.

Lauren currently works privately and within the NHS, as a pediatric and specialist Speech and Language Therapist. Previously Lauren has worked in neurological trauma and as a Specialist Support Lecturer. Lauren is experienced in working with a range learning disabilities. She is also experienced in training staff, and supporting parents.

Ellie Coleman

Ellie Coleman is delivering our older group sessions. She has 9 years of experience working with individuals, of all ages, with learning disabilities and/or Autism and a range of communication and sensory support needs. Ellie has trained in Intensive Interaction, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Makaton, Attention Autism, Talkabout, Objects of Reference and Multisensory support, the Listening Program, and Lego therapy, and is currently training to become a Regional Makaton Tutor.
She currently works at a specialist school in Leeds providing speech and language intervention for individuals and groups, training and mentoring for parents and staff, and whole school strategy development.
She has experience working with a wide range of augmentative and alternative communication strategies including high and low tech communication aids.

Jo Gallagher

Jo Gallagher is an Independent Speech & Language Therapist  with 25 years of experience of working with children & teenagers with a wide range of difficulties including Down syndrome. She is very experienced in oral motor skills, feeding and swallowing work with children who have Down syndrome and a level 3 Talk Tools Therapist.


The Pamela Sunter Centre Down Syndrome Training & Support Service Ltd
2 Whitley Street, Bingley, Bradford, BD16 4JH

Telephone/Fax 01274 561308 Email

Email office@downsyndromebradford.co.uk

ABSENCE: If you are unable to attend please contact Wendy Rhodes by phone/text 07512346717 and let us know. We will then forward you any homework.

GROUPS: Your child has been allocated to a group based on both age and ability. We aim to keep groups to a maximum of 5 children.

EVALUATION: Sessions will be evaluated in January each year when you will be able to tell us if you feel your child has made any progress.


"My child is more confident and makes more of an effort to express herself."

"Has a calmer and much more grown up way and manner towards school work."

"The venue is far from our house so a long way to travel and a rush to get there but well worth it for the excellent service."

"Really valuable time, particularly for my learning about my child."

"The help we have received has helped her concentration at school."

"Improved turn taking, waiting to speak, Thinking about what to say, listening to others more patiently."

"The speech sessions are definitely useful and have a positive effect on my child and their development."


PARENTS/CARERS: Parents /carers will be expected to stay in the room and take part in the sessions. This may take the form of:

  • encouraging their child to join in.
  • joining in and taking turns in activities with the children order to help the therapist demonstrate methods.
  • listen and learn strategies and techniques to use at home.

Only one adult per child please.

SUPPORT STAFF: If you want to bring along a support assistant you are very welcome but one adult will have to remain outside the group.

CHILDREN: If children misbehave and disrupt the session the therapist will try her best to modify the activity and encourage the child to re engage with the parents help. If this does not work after several minutes a decision will be made as to whether to ignore the child in the hope they will rejoin (usually works) or remove from the session. Removal from the session will be as a last resort.

HOMEWORK: Suggested activities for use at home will be provided at each session with the aim of enabling the parent to continue input at home. Only by consistent and continuous input can progress be made.

TIME OF ARRIVAL/LEAVING THE CENTRE: Please ensure you arrive so that the session can start on time. There is a short break between each session. Parents are welcome to help themselves to refreshments etc. during this time but in order to ensure the children are fully focused we ask that parents aim to leave the Centre before the start of the next session.


£6 per group session
£15 per half hour one to one session

This cost does not cover the full cost of these sessions and if you wish to pay more the actual cost is £15 per group session and £35 per half hour one to one session.
Thank you

Private one to one therapy sessions and consultations are also available. Please contact the Office for details.