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Speech and Language Therapy for Downsyndrome

Speech and language therapists play an important role in the treatment of individuals with Downsyndrome. Speech and language therapy improves, supports and develops speech, language and communication skills. Speech and language therapy additionally helps any difficulties the individual may have with eating, drinking and swallowing.

Many individuals with Downsyndrome will experience speech and language difficulties that will lead to impaired communication skills. Individuals with Downsyndromewill often have difficulty producing certain speech sounds, with some speech being difficult for others to understand. Children with Down syndrome commonly have delayed speech, language and communication skills in comparison to their typically developing peers. Children with Down syndrome are often very social and use their non-verbal skills (facial expression, gesture and body language) for longer than other children of the same age, due to their delayed speech and language skills.

Speech and language therapists will work on a number of areas of speech, language and communication and will aim to:

  • Improve oral motor skills
  • Develop eating and drinking skills
  • Develop emerging language skills
  • Improve and develop speech sounds
  • Use alternative and augmentative communication e.g. sign language and visual aids to support language learning.
  • Improve more complex speech disorders
  • Increase vocabulary

Speech and language therapists can offer a range of effective interventions for children with Downsyndrome. The type of intervention chosen will be specific to the individual's needs and abilities. The speech and language therapist will use