Info For Educators

Welcome Educators!  The Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization appreciates the important role you play in enhancing the educational experiences of students with Down syndrome. We are committed to supporting the  professionals who work with our children.

General Information


  1. Have high expectations for the student.  Be enthusiastic and encouraging.
  2. When planning a student’s instructional program, be guided by the student’s individual ability and needs, and not the label of Down syndrome.
  3. If the student is highly distractible, seat the student away from windows and doors to minimize distractions in the environment.
  4. Small group instruction may be more beneficial to the student than whole class instruction. Try to also set aside some time for one-on-one instruction.
  5. Model the task and give the student many opportunities to perform it.  Break down tasks into smaller sequenced steps.
  6. Ask the student to repeat or rephrase instructions.  Ask the student specific step-by-step questions to make sure the student has understood the instructions given.
  7. Set aside time for frequent review and practice of tasks.
  8. Allow the student adequate response time.
  9. Provide consistent positive reinforcement immediately after the student produces a correct response.
  10. If the student makes a mistake, do not say “that’s wrong.” Ask the student to try again, or provide the correct response and require the student to repeat the correct response immediately. Immediate corrective feedback is more effective than delayed.
  11. Give clear signals about the end of one activity and the beginning of the next.  Use picture cues or audio cues with young children. For example, use picture symbols representing activities or sing a certain song before a specific activity.
  12. Present only a few stimuli or objects at a time. For example, if you are using worksheets, create worksheets that do not have too many pictures or sentences with complicated wording. Highlight or print key words in bold.
  13. Use concrete objects/manipulatives along with verbal explanations. For example, while teaching counting use manipulatives that are alike in shape, size and color, so that the student concentrates on counting, rather than being distracted by shapes, etc.
  14. Be flexible with attaining educational goals. For example, if the student has difficulty writing with a pencil, teach the student to write using a computer.


Universal Design for Learning  is an educational approach with three primary principles:

  • Multiple means of representation, to give diverse learners options for acquiring information and knowledge,
  • Multiple means of action and expression, to provide learners options for demonstrating what they know,
  • Multiple means of engagement, to tap into learners’ interests, offer appropriate challenges, and increase motivation

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning. UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all.

How We Help

Teacher Training 
Every Fall Gold Coast holds a workshop called the Exceptional Educators in partnership with the School District.  For details click  Learn More. 

Parent Training 
Gold Coast offers Education Programs  for children ages 3 through high school. These programs  help parents become education partners with their children’s teachers.  

Best Start– a free Weekly Program for parents, infants and toddlers that lays a foundation for parent responsibility.

Learning Program-a nine month Parent and Child Workshop that spans from pre-k through high school.  Topics include building literacy, math, and  independent life skills, transitioning to adulthood, understanding legal rights, creating an effective IEP and more.

Educational Advocacy– Individual Family Support which provides education and assistance to parents on IEPs and school placements.  An advocate will attend meetings and/or give guidance at no cost.

Exceptional Educators Program-a Free Teacher Training on how children with Down syndrome learn

Smart Start- a Free Workshop on Transitioning to Pre-K

School Rules! – a Free Workshop on Transitioning  to Kindergarten

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