PDF version Introduction Language and communicative competence provide critical tools for learning, engaging in social relationships, and behaviour and emotion regulation from infancy onward. This report describes the evolution of language development in the first five years of life and its interrelationship with psychosocial and emotional development and disorder across the life span.
This text is from the book Down Syndrome: Hassold and David Patterson.
This material is used with permission of Wiley-Liss, Inc. Copyright by Wiley-Liss, Inc. This article by Libby Kumin is just one chapter of this comprehensive text on Down syndrome. This chapter discusses a comprehensive approach to speech and language treatment from infancy through elementary school, which considers the communication strengths and challenges for children with Down syndrome, as well as the specific needs of the individual child with Down syndrome.
Speech and language are complex and present many challenges to the child with Down syndrome that need to be addressed through a comprehensive approach to speech and language treatment. There have been major historical, legislative, and financial influences on speech and language services and service delivery for children with Down syndrome; these are summarized below.
The law has been amended and renewed to the present day. The important ramifications of IDEA for communication in school-age children are that speech-language pathology is a related service and is based on a remediation model.
Related services are developmental, corrective, and other supportive services, as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children.
A remediation model means that the child receives services only when there is a documented problem based on test results, in order to address that problem.
With inclusion becoming more common and the regular education initiative, the child's needs for speech-language pathology services may be greater, and the goals may be higher. Public Law provided funding to extend services to children ages 3 to 5 years using the IEP as the child's service plan, and provided for early intervention services to children ages birth to 2 years who are experiencing developmental delays or who have a diagnosed condition that will place them at risk for developmental delay, using the Individualized Family Service Plan IFSP as the family's service plan.
Children with Down syndrome would qualify for evaluation for services from the time of diagnosis, based on the guidelines in PL Important ramifications of PL for speech and language treatment are that speech-language pathology services are based on a prevention model and that the family is included as central to the treatment process.
When the child is 3 years of age, the educational plan changes from the IFSP to the IEP, and this represents a shift from a prevention model to a remediation model, and a shift in service delivery. IDEA 97 has continued the funding for early intervention services for children under age 3, which was first mandated under PL Whereas speech-language pathology is defined as a related service for children age 3 and older, it is defined as an early intervention service for infants and toddlers younger than 3 years.
Early intervention services "are designed to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability in any one or more of the following areas: Under IDEA 97, it appears that children under age 3 with Down syndrome would be eligible for early speech-language evaluation and treatment services, audiological evaluations including hearing testing, feeding therapy, assistive communication devices, and transportation and related costs.
IDEA 97 considers several issues that have a direct impact on where services should be delivered. Part A deals with elementary through secondary school. For elementary-school-age children through high-school age, services are most likely to be delivered on site within the school.
According to the statutes of IDEA 97, services should be provided in the natural environment, and the interpretation appears to be that "the natural environment" means within the classroom.
There is a recognition within the legislation that inclusion within regular classrooms is increasing, and that classroom teachers in regular education settings and specialists such as speech-language pathologists in special education roles are working together more frequently.
For example, the legislation mandates that the regular education teacher in a child's classroom be part of the IEP team for that child and provides funding for regular educators, classroom assistants, and special education and related services personnel to receive training regarding children with disabilities.
Most available funding is through health insurance or through federal and state legislation that provides funding for educational budgets. Many health insurance plans do not fund long-term speech and language treatment for children with developmental disabilities. School systems are mandated to provide services based on specific criteria that they have developed to ensure compliance with federal funding.
It is essential to become familiar with the entrance and exit criteria, eligibility for services through the local schools, and the criteria and guidelines through the health insurance agency.
Communication skills are important and contribute to inclusion and integration. Communication includes not only speech, but also facial expressions, smiles, gestures, pointing, high five signs, and alternative systems such as sign language and computer-based systems.
Children and adults are more likely to interact when they can understand and be understood. At home, in school, and in the community, a functional understandable communication system facilitates relationships.
Although there are common speech and language problems, there is no single pattern of speech and language common to all children with Down syndrome. There are, however, speech and language challenges for most children with Down syndrome.
Many children with Down syndrome have more difficulty with expressive language than they do with understanding speech and language, that is, receptive language skills are usually more advanced than expressive language skills. Certain linguistic areas, such as vocabulary, are usually easier for children with Down syndrome than other areas, such as grammar.
Sequencing of sounds and of words may be difficult for many children. Many children have difficulties with intelligibility of speech and articulation.Whether helping a child who stutters or an adult with a hearing loss, the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology program, formerly Communication Disorders, in the Department of Health and Human Performance offers students the opportunity to learn about human communication; speech, language, and hearing disorders; and intervention methods for children and adults experiencing communication.
Emerson College’s online master’s program in speech pathology prepares students to make an immediate impact in the lives of those facing speech, language, and swallowing challenges through evidence-based education, clinical training, and ongoing support.
Communication problems may affect a child's ability to speak (speech disorders/impairments) and/or the ability to understand and use spoken language (language disorders/impairments).
Professionals talk about these as expressive and receptive communication difficulties. Page 1 of 63 Crossing the Communication Divide A toolkit for prison and probation staff working with offenders who experience communication difficulties. Cost-effective ways to prevent or reduce the impact of conditions affecting speech, language, and social skills in high-risk children (for example, younger siblings of children with ASD).
The development of software to help people with ASD who struggle with speech to communicate complex thoughts and interact more effectively in society.
We have been with All About Speech & Language almost 2 years now. Our child’s speech and pronunciation has improved tremendously!
His social skills at daycare has followed suit.