Bringing you important info about topics that matter.

The DSAGSL will bring you a recap of what you might have missed in previous weeks as well as additional information about other important topics. If you would like more information about a particular issue featured in this edition, contact Erin at

Month of July Topic - Tips for Paraprofessionals

There are still spots left for our independent IEP consultations with national education experts Patti McVay and Laurie Pachl, click here! Ten spots remain in both Cape Girardeau on September 8 and in St. Louis on September 12. Contact Erin at by Friday at 5pm to find out more information and save your spot.

Though there was no Coffee Talk in July, the DSAGSL still hopes to bring you important information and strategies you can use! Erin presented to 150 paraprofessionals in the Fort Zumwalt School District on Tuesday, and below are tips from her workshop. Find more by reviewing the entire presentation.

1.    Consider physical health conditions that may affect learning and behavior, including low muscle tone, vision and hearing problems, hypothyroidism, sleep apnea and dual autism/Ds diagnosis.

2.    Behavior is usually a form of communication. Consider health or communication issues first before implementing other strategies.

3.    Students with Down syndrome are very literal and visual learners. Offer visual aids as often as possible in all classroom and transition settings.

4.    Let students make mistakes and take risks. Everyone learns from mistakes. Let natural consequences be part of the classroom experience.

5.    Maintain student dignity. Be discreet about the student’s physical needs. Refrain from making comments aloud. Schedule special needs such as stretching and toileting in between classes.

6.    Home – school communication is essential. Listen to families and keep them informed.

7.    Paraprofessionals are important for facilitating peer relationships. Remind others to communicate directly with the student. Give students the space and freedom to socialize and develop friendships.

8.    Give as few prompts as possible. Foster independence. Limit hand over hand assistance to teaching a task, not completing a task. Resist temptation to give verbal directions for every aspect of a task.

9.    Help students to create authentic work. Avoid completing assignments, taking tests or answering questions for the students.

10.  Enable students to make choices. Offer choices to the student, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

Additional Resources

For more information about education for your student with Down syndrome and resources for educators, visit:

DSAGSL Website
Disability Solutions
Down Syndrome Education USA

Finally, the DSAGSL attempts to offer as much information online for parents and caregivers across our region. You can visit the resource section of the DSAGSL website for access to information on many topics!

If you have specific questions or concerns about this topic, feel free to contact our office at 314.961.2504 or join our private Facebook group “DSAGSL Sharing Our Strategies.”

Photo of the Week

Facebook    Twitter     Find us on Pinterest    View our videos on YouTube
Visit our blog

Upcoming Events

Visit our calendar online for events from us, our community groups, third party fundraisers along with Pujols Family Foundation, Albert Pujols Wellness Center at St. Luke's and DADS St. Louis!

Save the Date!

Back to School Night - August 19
New Mother's Luncheon - August 23
Walk in the Park - September 13
Pumpkin Palooza - September 27

Find a Community Group
To connect with families in your area, visit our Community Group directory on our website. 
Quick Links
DSAGSL website
Calendar of Events
Contact Us

Privacy policy (Privacy Page)

My Email Preferences (Email Preferences Page