Downs Syndrome Awareness
Phil Foreman and Geoff Crews This paper reports the use of two forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) with young children with Down syndrome: a program using signing (Makaton), and the COMPIC system of computerised pictographs. Children with Down syndrome are frequently reported to have difficulties in the area of language and communication, with relative strengths in visual and perceptual areas. This suggests possible benefits from the use of AAC systems to enhance language development. The paper discusses the use of AAC systems to assist young children with Down syndrome, and reports an experimental study of the use of such systems with an object naming task. Foreman P, Crews G. Using augmentative communication with infants and young children with Down syndrome
Sign Language in Down Syndrome Why Teach Sign Language? Using sign language in Down Syndrome can make life a lot easier for everyone concerned. Many children with Down Syndrome have some degree of speech delay. This makes it difficult for the child, as well as the parents, to communicate.
Signing and Lexical Development in Children with Down Syndrome John Clibbens Language development in children with Down syndrome is delayed, on average, relative to general cognitive, motor and social development, and there is also evidence for specific delays in morphology and syntax, with many adults showing persistent problems in these areas. It appears that the combined use of signed and spoken input can boost early language development significantly, this evidence coming initially from single case-studies, and more recently from larger scale controlled studies. Research with typically developing hearing and deaf children, as well as children with Down syndrome, has demonstrated the importance of establishing joint attention for vocabulary development. Furthermore, studies carried out with children with Down syndrome indicate that reducing attentional demands may be especially important in scaffolding language development in this group.
Down syndrome Down syndrome can be identified during pregnancy by prenatal screening followed by diagnostic testing, or after birth by direct observation and genetic testing. Since the introduction of screening, pregnancies with the diagnosis are often terminated. Regular screening for health problems common in Down syndrome is recommended throughout the person's life. Education and proper care has been shown to improve quality of life. Some children with Down syndrome are educated in typical school classes while others require more specialized education. Some individuals with Down syndrome graduate from high school and a few attend post-secondary education. In adulthood about 20% in the United States do paid work in some capacity with many requiring a sheltered work environment. Support in financial and legal matters is often needed. Life expectancy is around 50 to 60 years in the developed world with proper health care.
Down's Syndrome Association - Help for people with Down's Syndrome