National Portage Association Back New Resource

Fink Card Review by Kerry Bailey of the National Portage Association 

Talking About Down’s Syndrome: Conversations for New Parents by Hayley Goleniowska and Fink Cards

Talking About Down's Syndrome: Conversations for New Parents

I was honoured and delighted to be asked to review the new fink conversation cards Talking About Down’s Syndrome, Conversations with Parents written by Hayley Goleniowska.

"Q: How did you celebrate your baby's arrival?"

I have had the privilege of working with children with SEND and their families for my entire professional career. In my current consultant role at the National Portage Association I now draw on my experience and rich and diverse work with families when looking at potential new resources.

This colourful, portable pack of ‘fink’ cards is divided into 4 sections, each focusing on a different area. These include getting to know your baby, exploring emotions following diagnosis, dispelling myths and looking at support as well as conversations about family life, relationships and adjustments every family may go through.

Hayley campaigns about inclusion and changing the way the world views Down’s syndrome and has developed the cards with this in mind, as well as supporting parents to talk through feelings and concerns whilst navigating their way through fact and myth. The cards will be of great support to Portage practitioners and Portage Teams, particularly newly trained, to look at new ways of working with families and opening up what may be difficult discussions.

Hayley gives an inspirational introduction to the pack by congratulating families on the arrival of their little one; focusing on the positives, without ignoring the challenges, of having a child with Down’s syndrome. Coming from a Portage background, I totally commend the positive message, getting to know every child as the unique individual they are and working with every family in a flexible way. 

These cards can support Portage practitioners and those running Portage-based play sessions.

It’s a simple idea, executed well with carefully selected questions; I could relate to similar conversations I have found myself in with families as a professional offering support. Such a resource offers opportunities to discuss topics that close family, friends and professionals may feel reluctant to raise but that are important to talk about.

"Q: Was your baby with you when you received the diagnosis of Down's syndrome?"

For practitioners looking to develop their skills and expand on the often creative activities needed ‘up their sleeve’ to support families in the best and most positive way, this compact pack of cards will not only support individual Home Visitors but also team discussions, training and professional development.  

"A great resource for any Portage/Home Learning Worker’s bag of tricks!"


Portage is a home visiting educational service for preschool children with disabilities, with parent supported as the lead educators.
The National Portage Association (NPA) is the umbrella organisation supporting parents and professionals involved in Portage. For more information

Twitter: @Portage_UK  and  @NPAConsultant

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