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Welcome to our early intervention page. Here, you can learn about our programme of intervention specifically designed to support your child's pre school development.

Our Early Development Groups, based at our Centre in Bingley, are for babies and young children with Down syndrome aged birth to 5/6 years and their parents and carers.
The five year intervention programme, developed by Dr Wendy Uttley, uses fun activities over a two hour period to work on sitting and other early motor skills, interacting, looking & listening skills, feeding, drinking, early number skills and speech & language development using lots of singing and signing. Babies up to 12 months are welcome to come along with their parents to chat and join in the second hour of our youngest group.

Early intervention: Programs

Group sessions run fortnightly during term time, usually 10am to 12pm on a set day. Dates are booked termly in advance.
Once in a group you and your child can attend for up to 5 years. This includes their first year at school, if you so wish, when school staff are encouraged to attend.
We currently have ten groups catering for up to 50 children delivered by Laura Hempel and Wendy Uttley.
We kindly request a donation of £6 per session.


The sessions start promptly at 10am, and at the first session we will take a photo of your child and a photo of you. These will then be used at the start of every session to work on recognition, signing and eventually memory skills and matching skills.

Initially the sessions work on posting skills which we refer to as ‘in’. Once the children are posting we begin to work on picture matching which we refer to as ‘on’. These skills help your child work towards sorting and matching words and numbers.

We will also work on fine and gross motor skills, encouraging sitting, rocking/balance, walking, clapping, rubbing hands, pointing index finger through various fun activities, including bubbles, feathers, shakers, singing and pass the parcel.


Speech sounds are introduced one at a time and you will be given sound cards and sound books and other free resources including a ‘magic bag’, so that you can continue the fun activities we use in the sessions at home as this will really help your child.
Every session has a detailed snack time, the food and drink are provided by us, and we ask that you wait until this time to give your child a drink or snack. The foods we introduce are easy to dissolve baby crisps, baby biscuits, fruit juice/water and raisins, other finger foods and yoghurts. The children sit at a table and practice signing for food, drinking from a closed, and eventually open, spouty cup and eating finger foods. Using a spoon and straw will all be tackled as we move through the year.

Following snack time there will be time for discussion with parents on various topics: signing, speech development, hearing, eyesight, physical development, benefits, sleeping, behaviour, Numicon and early number skills and language development using the See & Learn resource. In the second year this time will be used to deliver further activities.
The session is then finished with the ‘magic bag’ a singing and signing session to work on tracking skills-following a star or spider, grabbing skills with a monkey or sausages, balance skills using ‘row, row, row your boat and other knee jogging songs.


More information on the groups

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 in order to help 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 room.

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.

ABSENCE: If you are unable to attend please contact 07512346717 by phone/text. 

GROUPS: Your child will be 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 annually when you will be able to tell us if you feel your child has made any progress. This is important for our funders.


  • I believe his speech and counting have come on particularly well due to the group.

  • My daughter has learnt so much since starting here. She works at school and we use all the work as part of her home/school program. The continuity of her progress is thanks to the sessions here.

  • I have always believed my daughter would read and enjoy learning. Coming to this service has enabled her to move forward. She enjoys the structure and loves learning here.

  • My child has shown more interest in colours, numbers, sounds, signing, picture matching, group activities.

  • The groups have given me more confidence. I want to explore more with new ideas in school to support children

  • I love it, it’s been such a lifeline in the early years and it is my most reliable place to get support and information


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

Assessments are also available. Please contact us for more details.


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