Welcome to Stepping Stones DS

Supporting children and young people with Down Syndrome and their families, one step at a time

Stepping Stones DS supports children and young people with Down Syndrome in North Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey. The group provides a wide range of support, activities and services for members and their families. All activities are designed to build confidence and support our members in reaching their potential.

We put a high priority on empowerment and provide training for parents, teachers and other professionals to allow them to better support our members. Stepping Stones DS is an entirely volunteer led, self funding organisation. For information on how to join Stepping Stones DS please see our New Parents page

Read More About Us…

Noticeboard

We have recently updated our Training page with our Training Programme for the 2018/19 academic year.  We have a range of topics available and hope that there is something of interest for everyone, please see our Training page to see this online.

Our beautiful publication “Our Stories” is now available to read online. this publication is for members, for families, for professionals, and for anyone who ever wondered what life might be like with an extra chromosome, please see our New Parents page to see this online.

You can now sign up for our half termly newsletter using the form in the footer of our website

VOLUNTEER LED

Stepping Stones DS is a run by parents, for parents and carers of children and young people with Down Syndrome. We are an entirely volunteer led group and would love to hear from you if you would like to support us.

Find out how you can help support us …

About

New Parents

Activities

Training

Latest from Facebook

13 hours ago

Stepping Stones DS

This Down Syndrome Awareness Week why not follow one or more of our members, who share their lives through blogs and social media. Busy Bees Twins DS, Hannah and Rachel, are sure to bring a smile to your face.🐝And We also got Down Syndrome🐝 #nothingdownaboutit ... See MoreSee Less

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19 hours ago

Stepping Stones DS

We run music therapy session for our members with additional and/or more complex needs who might struggle to access some of our other activities. As demonstrated in this video the music really engages the young people and encourages communication and interaction.

#LeaveNoOneBehind

Foyle Down Syndrome Trust
In preparation to celebrate World Down Syndrome Thurs 21/3/19, we are sharing a video with all views each day this week. Today, Josie is sharing a music thearpy video, which illustrates how the use a song structure greatly enhanced Maise's animate interactiveness with mum & Josie
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22 hours ago

Stepping Stones DS

Will you be wearing your odd socks tomorrow? Bonnie and friends at Sandy Lane school will...Take part in World Down Syndrome Day 21st March 🧦

Not sure how many of you know but my youngest daughter has DS. Bonnie is just an amazing little lady with lots of determination.

HER SCHOOL HAS BEEN AMAZING And VERY SUPPORTIVE OF HER. Sandy Lane Year 2 2018/19 Bonnie doesn't have a huge family so we do all we can to support her and show her life is awesome.

Thursday we all wear odd socks to celebrate being different and spread awareness to the world. It's a huge day and I'd love for you all to be involved and send me pics of your silly/odd socks

Bracknell News for the 3rd year running have supported this and show how we celebrate. 💖 💙 Look our for the publication 😊

The day Bonnie was born our world's changed for the better and we are all stronger. It hasn't been easy' granted... But WOW what an amazing journey we have had. We nearly lost Bonnie a few years back but she was a fighter and so was her Mummy and Daddy.

We are raising for Stepping Stones Stepping Stones DS.

Can not wait to see ya silly odd socks xxx
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22 hours ago

Stepping Stones DS

This Down Syndrome Awareness Week why not follow one or more of our members, who share their lives through blogs and social media.

At 321 Mum, Sophie's Mum blogs about navigating the world of all things Mum, toddler and Down syndrome, as well as working, running, learning and living.“You've changed...
Having a typical child changes you.
But it's much different than the change that happens when you have a child with a disability.

Family members and friends who knew you before the birth of your child with a disability will comment on how you have changed.

And when you think about it, you know they are right.

How could you not change?
Your expectations change.
The vision of your child's future changes.
You begin the journey of acceptance.
You have to adjust to your new "normal".
The word "normal" starts to get on your nerves a bit.

You start celebrating, and I mean REALLY celebrating, milestones that people with typical kids take for granted.

You don't give up on your dreams for your child but your dreams definitely change.

You try not to compare your child with typical kids but sometimes it's so in-your-face that it's hard not to.
And then you realize that it has to stop.
It's not fair to your child and it's not fair to you.
You continue the journey of acceptance.
Accepting your child just as they are.

You begin to see the beauty in them more than ever before.
Their joy.
Their unconditional love.
Their perseverance.
Their determination.
You start to notice the things they CAN do
instead of focusing on what they haven't mastered yet.
You change.

You become a research fanatic, equipping yourself to be the best advocate possible
for your child.
Medical terms and educational terms you
had never heard before the change become everyday words to you.

When you see another parent of a differently abled child you feel drawn to them when you once would have walked right past without even noticing them.

You use words like "differently abled" instead of "special needs" or "mentally handicapped".
The word "retarded" makes the hair on the
back of your neck stand up.
Even though you try not to let it bother you.
Even though you used the word yourself
before the change.
Even though people have labeled you "too sensitive" about it.
You can't help it.
You change.

And as you become aware of people who are prejudiced against your child you also become aware of your own prejudices
against others. Your own closed
mindedness comes to light.
You don't want to stay that way.
You soften.
You change.

Some of your old friends accept the change. Some don't.
They distance themselves.
Maybe they don't know what to say.
Maybe they just can't handle it all.
Whatever the reason, they are no longer around.
You make new friends.
Friends who get it.
Friends who become like family.
Friends who become your lifeline.

Me?
Yes.
I have changed.
I'm probably a little less flippant, a little more serious.
I find joy in the simple things and beauty in places I would have never bothered to look before the change.
I avoid words like "tolerance" and embrace words like "acceptance".
I am committed to judge less and forgive more.”

Author Unknown.
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2 days ago

Stepping Stones DS

This Down Syndrome Awareness Week why not follow one or more of our members, who share their lives through blogs and social media.

We love this blog by Oscar's Mum, Sarah which gives you a warts and all insight into their world.

The blog's name Don't Be Sorry, aims to counter the reaction that new parents receive all too often on sharing a diagnosis of Down Syndrome.
www.facebook.com/dontbesorry2/photos/a.276329955867514/1187616488072185/?type=3&theatI guess my story of #whenibecameamother is slightly different to most. Sure I had the whole birth experience with Oscar (traumatic as that was and something we definitely don’t need to go into detail about right now because that would put us all off our Chicken Kiev’s this dinner time 😬#NotanAD). And yes like most, I experienced the range of emotions, pretty much every new mum feels following the birth of her first born. But mixed up in there with the sleepless nights, the boob or bottle musings, the shedload of poop, the stitches (YAAAWWWOUCH), the figuring out of what cry meant what...I had the “unexpected diagnosis” flung in there too.

The bombshell. The life changing, life altering moment the words were uttered - “I’m so sorry we suspect your baby has Down Syndrome”.

And while I could go on about the pain my heart felt and how life in that instant seemed like it was suddenly all going so terribly wrong. And how I didn’t think I’d cope, didn’t think it was fair and that for a long while there, it felt like a grief of sorts... I’m actually going to tell you about the time, 9 months later, when I truly felt I became a mother.

It’s summed up in the photo below. Oscar had undergone open heart surgery and I was sat by his side, waiting. I don’t think I’d ever felt pain like it. It wasn’t the same pain he’d been subjected too. But it felt like a physical pain. An all encompassing ache in my heart, when all you’re willing and wishing for, is for everything to be ok.

Nothing prepares you for the moment you realise there’s a chance your baby mightn’t live. The past 9 months of upset and worry about his Down Syndrome diagnosis paled into insignificance while I sat and waited for him to wake. So that was MY moment. The moment I realised that losing my baby would have been too much to bare. Right there, sure I felt pain but my god, I felt love. That was the moment I realised love had crept in and there was no going back ❤️

For anyone reading this who doesn’t follow our story, Oscar is 6 years old now, his heart is fixed and doing just fine 😊

I am posting this to enter Don't Buy Her Flowers competition

#whenibecameamother #dontbuyherflowers #dontbesorry
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2 days ago

Stepping Stones DS

Massive congratulations to Ali, Mum to Lily, and our Chief Womble. Ali was recently presented with a community award by the Mayor of Sandhurst, recognising the hard work Ali puts in to running recycling schemes across the local area. Very much deserved, we're very proud of you Ali, and grateful to you for all your hard work turning recycling into pennies for SSDS.

To learn more about how and what you can recycle, check out SSDS Wombles.
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3 days ago

Stepping Stones DS

Check out this wonderful video made by a neighbouring support group for Down Syndrome Awareness Week, focussing on this year's theme of Leave No One Behind.

21&Co
HAPPY WORLD DOWN’S SYNDROME WEEK!!!
Here is 21&Co’s video, featuring our gorgeous children. We are so proud of you all! Please watch and SHARE!!! We are proud of all our members and extra excited to spotlight our kids with more complex needs. Share far and wide to raise awareness of our incredible community.
#LeaveNoOneBehind #WDSD2019
#wdsd19
#21andco
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