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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 the individuals strengths i.e. use of non-verbal communication to support their speech and language learning.

Speech and Language Therapy programmes need to be individually designed to meet all of the communication needs of a child with Downsyndrome. It is important the speech and language therapists work closely with the child's parents/carers to provide support and advice regarding any problems the child may be experiencing. It is important that all speech and language therapy interventions are constantly re-evaluated as throughout different developmental stages of the child's life varying treatment may be required. Speech and language therapists will work closely with other members of the multidisciplinary team to ensure that interventions are as successful as possible.

Speech and language therapy is highly beneficial for individuals with DownSyndrome as it helps to support, improve and develop speech, language and communication skills. Speech and language therapy also helps any eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties.

The main aim of speech and language therapy for children with DownSyndrome is to maximise the individuals communication to their highest potential across their home, educational and social environments. Speech and language therapy is a key intervention for children with DownSyndrome, the earlier a child receives speech and language therapy the better the outcome will be for the child leading a more independent life.

If you feel our speech and language therapy services would be beneficial and you would like to arrange an assessment with one of our speech and language therapists, please contact us by emailing or calling 03300 886 693.

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