New Parents


Information for new parents

Congratulations on the birth of your new baby

If your baby is healthy, their needs will be just like other babies. You don’t need to be doing anything different or special at this stage. We know that it can be difficult at first to see past the Down’s syndrome to your baby’s individual personality. Take time to listen to them, get to know them and enjoy them. A loving secure environment is the most important thing that you can give your baby at this time.

Parents react in different ways to the news that their baby has Down’s syndrome and you will be experiencing a wide range of emotions during the first few months. This is all perfectly normal, we have all been there.

What is Down’s syndrome?

Down’s syndrome is a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21 in the body’s cells. Down’s syndrome is not a disease, and it is not a hereditary condition. It occurs by chance at conception.

What causes the extra chromosome 21?

As yet we do not know what causes the presence of an extra chromosome 21. What we do know is that no one is to blame. As far as we know, nothing done before or during pregnancy causes the syndrome. It occurs in all races, social classes and in all countries throughout the world. It can happen to anyone.

What are people with Down’s syndrome like?

People with Down’s syndrome are not all the same. Whilst there are certain physical characteristics that are more common, people with Down’s syndrome will share more physical features with other people in their family than with other people with Down’s syndrome. Everyone with Down’s syndrome will have some degree of learning disability. But the most important thing to remember is that everyone with Down’s syndrome is an individual, with their own strengths and weaknesses and personality traits that make them who they are.

What our group can offer you

Too much or even too little information can be overwhelming, however, at whatever point you feel ready, or in whatever way you would like, the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Support Group is here to support you.  If you would like to speak to our ‘New Parent Contact’ please contact Michelle James on
If you find making initial contact with us difficult, why not ask your midwife, health visitor, community nurse, social worker or a friend to contact us on your behalf.  Our New Parent contact, Michelle, will then gladly contact you.

What the Swindon Down’s Syndrome Group can offer:

  • Support from a fellow parent
  • Advice and information on services available in this area
  • Advice on benefits and how to apply
  • Names and address of other supportive organisations
  • An invitation to our monthly coffee afternoons where you will meet other parents

If your child has medical problems, we can put you in touch with a parent whose child has similar problems.

Useful groups

Koalas Opportunity Group

Koalas is a voluntary service providing children who have special educational needs with the opportunity to play alongside children without special needs in a friendly and safe environment. Parents and carers can gain support, information and advice and a few minutes for themselves and at the same time their children gain new experiences through education and stimulation.

Telephone: 01793 615351

Swindon Special Tots and Portage

Swindon Portage is a home teaching and support service for children with special educational needs and their families. Special Tots is a mother and toddler group for children aged under five years with special educational needs.

Telephone: 01793 465360/2

Children’s Services

Salt Way Centre, Pearl Road, Swindon SN5 5TD
Telephone: 01793 464010


Useful links

General Information

National Down’s Syndrome Association
Telephone: 0845 230 0372

The Down Syndrome Educational Trust
Telephone: 023 9285 533

About Learning Disabilities
Expert advice on learning disabilities

Read the DSA New Parent Guide 

Read the DSA Leaflet for Friends and Family 

Read the DSA Benefits for Babies Leaflets

Health & Wellbeing

The Down’s Heart Group
Telephone: 0300 102 1644     Email:
Down’s Heart Group, PO Box 4260, Dunstable  LU6 2ZT

Down’s Syndrome Medical Interest Group

Community Nurses Learning Disabilities Team
Telephone: 01793 464049

Paediatric Therapy: Physio & OT
Telephone: 01793 464246


Support & Respite

Swindon Parent Partnership
Telephone: 01793 466494

Swindon Down's Syndrome Group