The need for improved speech and language skills in children with Down Syndrome cannot be emphasised enough. This is because proper language and conversational skills are important for the mental and social development of a child and to boost its confidence in future.
Speech And Language Difficulties Associated to Down Syndrome
Speech and language may serve as a challenge for children with Down Syndrome but with a therapy that begins at the right age, it is possible to help young children to make progress in conversational skills. This is because such children possess an uneven profile for social and language development and a weakness in one department doesn’t necessarily mean the same in others. For instance many children depict strong social development and skills while they lack in the field of language development.
The issues in the ability of speech and language arise due to various factors such as working memory, conductive hearing loss and speech-motor difficulties.
Role of Speech Pathologist
A speech pathologist plays an effective role in the therapy for Down Syndrome, particularly one that commences at an early age. Speech Pathology Melbourne and other area-related centres are the most feasible options to approach such professionals therapists.
In the first year of life, a speech pathologist targets auditory discrimination in Speech sound which in turns reduces the frequency of babbling and encourages the use of gestures to improve comprehension in both the speaker and the listener.
In the second year, the therapists works to improve the vocabulary by using pictures and objects to attract the kids and also address any communication difficulties in observed in the child.
During the next three years, a speech pathologist continues to work on hearing and production of relevant speech sounds and keeps a record of it. The efforts of improving the vocabulary and grammar continue as well and by the age of 5-11 years, the therapist targets the working memory, language profile and speech clarity in children.
The basic goal of the therapy is to work on areas including work, speech, grammar and communication and better comprehension all of which contributes to better social and conversational skills.