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Down Sydnrome

What is Down Sydnrome ?

Down syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome 21. It is the most common chromosomal disorder, occurring in approximately 1 in 700 births. Individuals with Down syndrome typically exhibit characteristic physical features, including a flat facial profile, almond-shaped eyes with upward slanting eyelids, a small nose and ears, and a protruding tongue. They may also have low muscle tone (hypotonia), short stature, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm (simian crease).

In addition to physical characteristics, individuals with Down syndrome often experience cognitive delays and intellectual disabilities of varying degrees. They may also have delays in speech and language development, as well as difficulties with fine and gross motor skills. Other common features of Down syndrome include heart defects, gastrointestinal issues, hearing loss, and vision problems.

Despite these challenges, individuals with Down syndrome can lead fulfilling lives with appropriate support and interventions. Early intervention programs, speech therapy, physical therapy, and educational resources tailored to their unique needs can help individuals with Down syndrome achieve their full potential and participate fully in their communities.

How can Speech Therapy help people with Down Sydnrome ?

Speech therapy plays a crucial role in supporting individuals with Down syndrome by addressing their communication needs and enhancing overall communication skills. Here’s how speech therapy supports individuals with Down syndrome, along with specific interventions such as Key Word Sign (KWS), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), and communication books:

Speech and Language Development: Speech therapists work with individuals with Down syndrome to develop their speech and language skills. This may involve targeting specific areas such as vocabulary development, sentence structure, and articulation. Therapists use various techniques to facilitate language learning, including modeling, repetition, and reinforcement.’

Key Word Sign (KWS): KWS, also known as sign-supported speech or Makaton, is a communication system that combines speech with manual signs to support language development. Speech therapists may introduce KWS to individuals with Down syndrome to enhance their communication abilities. KWS can help individuals express themselves more effectively and improve their understanding of language concepts.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC): AAC includes various tools and techniques used to supplement or replace speech for individuals with communication difficulties. Speech therapists may introduce AAC systems such as communication boards, picture exchange systems, or speech-generating devices to individuals with Down syndrome who have limited verbal communication abilities. AAC allows individuals to communicate their needs, thoughts, and desires more independently.’

Communication Books: Communication books are personalized visual supports that contain pictures, symbols, or words representing various concepts, activities, or items. Speech therapists may create communication books for individuals with Down syndrome to support their expressive and receptive language skills. These books can serve as valuable tools for promoting vocabulary development, facilitating conversations, and increasing independence in communication.’

Overall, speech therapy for individuals with Down syndrome focuses on improving communication skills, enhancing language development, and empowering individuals to express themselves effectively. By incorporating interventions such as KWS, AAC, and communication books, speech therapists can tailor therapy to meet the unique needs of each individual, ultimately enhancing their quality of life and participation in everyday activities.

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02 9139 8909

Call us to book an appointment

02 9139 8909

Make Appointment

Call us to book an appointment

02 9139 8909

Make Appointment