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The Down Syndrome CEN

The DS CEN Committee

Welcome to the official website of the Down Syndrome Clinical Excellence Network (CEN). The Down Syndrome CEN aims to support speech and language therapists working with children and adults who have Down syndrome. This website is designed to share information about the Down Syndrome CEN, including events and opportunities for speech and language therapists interested in this field.


Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

I am a speech and language therapist who specialises in children and young adults who have Down syndrome. I worked as part of the team at Down Syndrome Education International (DSEI) before starting LETS Go! in 2011.  LETS Go!'s Facebook page is:


LETS Go! is an independent practice providing services which support children and young adults with Down syndrome. I am actively involved in research and work with collaborators at the University of Manchester and DSEI. I was awarded my PhD in 2023 having developed and evaluated a language intervention for children with Down syndrome. 



Please get in touch if you are interested in this position or read more about joining the committee here:


Clinical Lead Speech and Language Therapist
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust

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I’m an NHS Speech and Language therapist working for the Complex Needs and Children’s Integrated Therapy and Nursing Service Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust. I have worked as an SLT for over 20 years and I am the clinical lead for complex needs for the trust.


I have a special interest in Down syndrome and with the team have written a document called the Down Syndrome toolkit detailing research in the field, with the support of Prof Sue Buckley and Dr Kelly Burgoyne. I am also a visiting lecturer on the UCLAN Speech and Language Masters course

Supervision group coordinator – preschool

Speech and language therapist

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I have over 30 years experience as a speech and language therapist and have worked across a range of settings and organisations in that time. I work with children, teenagers and young adults with Down syndrome as part of the provision offered by local charities and parent led networks as well as for Symbol, where I currently lead their specialist Down syndrome service.

Supervision group coordinator – school age

Independent speech and language therapist

 I have 32 years experience as a SLT, both in the NHS and more recently in independent practice. Over the past ten years, I’ve developed an interest in working with nursery and school age children with Down Syndrome. My MSc project examined parent views on the transition of their children with DS from nursery to reception.


Prior to working independently, I was an NHS clinical lead for children with speech and language disorders, across two education authorities.

Supervision group coordinator – post 16 education and adults

Please get in touch if you are interested in this position or read more about joining the committee here:

Media coordinator

Lecturer in Speech and Language Therapy

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I am a speech and language therapist with clinical experience of working with children and young people with Down syndrome since qualifying in 2006, and more recently, experience of delivering teaching on Down syndrome and conducting research studies to develop and test interventions for young children with Down Syndrome and their families.  Prior to taking up my current role at the University of Reading, I was the RCSLT Research Manager and Associate Editor for the Bulletin Magazine, which provided me with a wealth of experience of working with the speech and language therapy profession.

Website coordinator

Research Associate -  University of Manchester

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I am a postdoctoral research associate at University of Manchester, working with Dr Kelly Burgoyne to adapt the PACT early language teaching programme for parents and young children with Down syndrome (PACT-DS). You can view my research profile here:

Before joining PACT-DS I completed a BSc Speech and Language Therapy degree at the University, then joined the Child Study Centre as a Psychology PhD researcher. I have significant experience working with young children and their families, and on research projects focused on children’s social and cognitive development.  My Twitter account is

Journal club coordinator

Director for Science and Research - Down Syndrome Education International
Emeritus Professor of Developmental Disability - Dept Psychology, University of Portsmouth

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I am currently Director of Science and Research at Down Syndrome Education International and Emeritus Professor of Developmental Disability at the University of Portsmouth, UK. I am a psychologist and a leading expert in education and development for young people with Down syndrome. I began research examining early reading instruction and language development for children with Down syndrome in 1980 and founded Down Syndrome Education International in 1986. My research and contributions to the lives of young people with Down syndrome have been widely recognised through numerous awards.
Read more about me here: Professor Sue Buckley OBE - Director of Science and Research, Down Syndrome Education International

Research lead

Lecturer in Psychology and Education -  University of Manchester

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I am a lecturer in Psychology and Education at the Manchester Institute of EducationUniversity of Manchester. My research focuses on language and literacy development, disorders, and intervention.  You can view my research profile here:


Whilst I am passionate about finding ways to better support speech and language skills for all children, I have particular interests in children with Down syndrome. I have published papers on research with children with Down syndrome, and am lead author on Reading and Language Intervention for children with Down syndrome.  

Working Group around developing guidance lead

Speech & Language Therapist

Join the committee

Being part of the committee provides an exciting opportunity to be involved in the planning and direction of the CEN and the events we coordinate.


Find out more about joining the committee here:

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