Everyone with Down’s syndrome will have some degree of learning difficulty. However, the level varies from person to person and some are more severely affected than others. Delayed speech development and delay in motor development (sitting, crawling, walking, potty training, etc) can occur. Feeding difficulties are also very common for children with Down’s syndrome. Someone with Down’s syndrome will tend to have a lower than average intelligence quotient (IQ).
Speech and language present many challenges for children with Down syndrome but there is information that can help infants and toddlers begin learning to communicate, and help young children progress in speech and language. Although most children with Down syndrome learn to speak and will use speech as their primary means of communication, they will understand language and have the desire to communicate well before they are able to speak. Total communication, using sign language, pictures, and/or electronic synthesized speech can serve as a transitional communication system.
Tools used by Speech Language Pathologists:
Tools commonly used in speech therapy include:
- Placement tools (correct tongue positioning for certain sounds)
- Oral sensory chews
- Tongue depressors
- Picture boards
- Dry erase boards
- Flip charts
- Sensory toys
- Formal tools & assessments
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