Chatterbox is the Speech and Language arm of York Down Syndrome Support Group.


We currently run 3 Speech & Language groups in York for children aged 2 years to 9 years. The sessions are planned and delivered by a dedicated team of Co-workers who are ‘SYMBOL’ trained and are supervised each half term by a qualified Speech & Language Therapist.


Each group meets once a week during the school term, for approximately 40/45 minutes. The Chatterbox team meets every half term to review goals and plan together for the next 6 weeks. Ensuring that activities within the groups are tailored to each child’s individual needs. When possible we liaise with other parties eg NHS Speech & Language Therapists, Schools, TA’s parents etc.

Pre-School Group

This group is aimed at pre-school aged children. They attend accompanied by a parent/carer. During the session, we work through a series of activities to develop listening, understanding, signing and spoken language. Makaton signing is used throughout. We also offer a ‘messy food’ play session during this group to encourage social interaction and sensory exploration.


Younger School aged children

This session takes place at Poppleton Ousebank Primary School, with children aged 4 - 8 years attending from a number of different schools.  Each child is accompanied by a teaching assistant, to give support to join in and to enable activities to be repeated and skills consolidated in between sessions.  Sessions are designed to be highly motivating and tailored to individual needs, with games and songs incorporating work on speech, language, signing skills and social interaction.


After school group

This group is for children with DS aged 6 to 9 years who have a reasonable understanding of phonetics and are able to read at a basic level. They are able to communicate verbally using short sentences. They benefit from working on sound blends, speech clarity sentence structure, turn taking and social conversation using longer sentences.


To learn more about each of these groups, or if you would like to discuss your child accessing 'Chatterbox', email Rachael Harrison on


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