Language Development in Children With Down Syndrome

Among the many challenges that children with Down syndrome commonly face is a language delay. Kids with Down syndrome often do not follow the same course of language development as their generally able peers. If your child is a Down syndrome sufferer, be ready for a language development challenge and consider ways in which you can help your child overcome this disability-related language deficit.


The Down Syndrome Delay

Language delay is common among children with Down syndrome. People with this genetic disorder commonly take longer to speak their first words than unaffected individuals. Upon starting to speak, they take longer to combine words into phrases or sentences, reports Down Syndrome Online.

Sentence Structure Challenges

Even after language acquisition, many children with Down syndrome continue to struggle with proper sentence structure. These children commonly speak more in grammatically incorrect bursts of speech than in full sentences. To overcome this, these children often require explicit education in the basics of sentence structure, as they are unable to decode the rules from hearing speech examples, as unafflicted children commonly do.

Academic Language Intervention

As DS Health reports, many children with Down syndrome require specialized language lessons in the school setting. Commonly these students receive language training as part of their individualized education plans. This training may include group speech classes or one-on-one speech lessons. With this in-school assistance, children who have Down syndrome can often catch up with peers in terms of language development.

Importance of Language Learning Emphasis

As Down Syndrome Online reports, it is vital that these children receive the specialized language attention they require, as language is the primary means by which these children can gather information about the would around them. Particularly because Down syndrome often impacts a child’s ability to master written language, vocal communication is of paramount importance, and dedication to teaching the basics of communication is requisite for the child’s success.

Parents’ Role in Language Building

As a parent of a child with Down syndrome, you can play a part in helping him master language. DS Health recommends that those parenting children with this disorder engage in games such as peek-a-boo, talk to their child regularly and engage the child in simple conversations as soon as language skills emerge. By doing these simple things, you can promote language learning and give your child the extra assistance he requires to develop his verbal communication abilities.

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