District Learning Support Services, Burnaby Schools

Author: philleym

Today is World Down Syndrome Day

World Down Syndrome Day is a global awareness day observed on the 21st day of March, the 3rd month of the year. This date was chosen to signify the uniqueness of the triplication of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome (Down Syndrome International, 2022).

The Burnaby Speech-Language Pathologists work with students with Down Syndrome as well as their families and school teams.

This year’s World Down Syndrome Day campaign theme is “Inclusion Means…” What does inclusion mean to you?

For more information, please check out these resources:

World Down Syndrome Day

Down Syndrome Resource Foundation



Down Syndrome International. (2022, February 10). About WDSD. World Down Syndrome Day. Retrieved March 21, 2022, from https://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/about-wdsd

How to Play with Your Child’s Toys

Playing with toys can create a rich environment for developing your child’s communication skills. It allows your child to learn a variety of speech and language skills that are meaningful to their lives.

Here are some ideas on how you can play with some of the things you already have around the home:

  • Combine pieces from various playsets to encourage flexibility in play. For example, once you have built a castle with your Magna-Tiles, you could include a Spider Man action figure into the play.
  • Learn the rules of the game from your child. Have them give you directions using a “First, Then, Last,” structure when explaining how to play a board game or a video game. Let them be the teacher.
  • Toys with multiple pieces give opportunities for both of you to take turns in conversation (e.g., requests, or turn-taking language). Examples of these types of toys include Magna-Tiles, Lego, marble tracks, pretend play sets like grocery store or restaurant.
  • Copy what your child does with their toys. This shows them that what they did is interesting and continues to encourage interactions. You can then expand on the action to teach them something new.
  • Avoid questions when possible. Instead you can:
    • List out choices of things you could play and then wait for a response (e.g.,“We could build a plane, we could build a house, we could build a castle …”).
    • Talk about what you are doing in your play.
    • Repeat what they have said and add one or two more words to it (e.g., if your child points and says “car”, repeat back to them “more cars”, “red car”).

Have fun!

Articulation Workshop 2021

Thank you to all the caregivers of our students who attended our virtual Articulation Workshop with enthusiasm. Fill, sign, and return an Informed Consent form to have your Articulation Home Program sent home with your child.  Please contact your school speech-language pathologist with any further questions. Have fun practicing!

FREE Clipart for Teacher Appreciation Week 2017: A roundup of resources from The Treasured Sc… | Thank you teacher gifts, Apple clip art, Teacher appreciation gifts

Talking to Kids with Communication Difficulties About Racism

When a child has a communication disorder it may feel like talking about difficult topics, such as racism, with them is too challenging. Some children can and usually do sense when there are big feelings (like anger, shame, confusion, anxiety, fear) being felt by those around them or they may see or be exposed to difficult topics being covered in the news or social media. Your child may also be experiencing big feelings that they may or may not understand or know how to express. Talking about these topics with your children at their level is important and doable.

Right now, Black Lives Matter and antiracism movements are topics that are on the minds of many people. Kids may also be learning about this in class or hearing about it  from their peers. As parents, it is important for them to hear it from you and discuss it with you. Here are some ways to support those conversations with kids who have difficulties with communication:

Continue reading

Another Speech and Hearing Month Contest

As May is coming to an end, so too is Speech and Hearing Month.

Speech & Hearing BC is holding a contest with a chance to win a gift card worth $150 to a local bookstore for your family and a $500 gift card for your school or community library! All you have to do is take a picture of yourself reading with your child. Click here for more details on how to enter.

Reading with your your child can support the development of many speech and language skills. Visit our Everyday Activities section to see how you can incorporate speech and language goals into your daily routines.

May is Speech and Hearing Month

In the month of May, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and other professionals working in the field raise awareness about communicative health. Speech-Language & Audiology Canada (SAC) aims to “highlight the importance of early detection and intervention in the treatment of communication disorders, and the role that our members and associates play in helping people to “Speak well. Hear well. Live well.””

Take a moment to reflect on how communication affects your life everyday.

If your child is under 11, SAC is holding their annual contests for a chance to win a $100 gift card. Visit the Kid’s Hub on the SAC website for more information.

This could be a great opportunity to target language goals. For example: Continue reading