Down syndrome By: Leah Stavely Issues in Special Education
Silver Metal Winner!! Special Olympics
Bilingual: English & Spanish speaker Miamigita
hhmmm… Down’s syndrome OR Down syndrome Why?
Down syndrome “apostrophe s” connotes ownership or possession People with Down syndrome should always be referred to as people first Down syndrome is a condition or a syndrome, not a disease People “have” Down syndrome, they do not “suffer from” it and are not “afflicted by” it
Down syndrome Myth Fact Down Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder People with Down syndrome are severely “retarded” Most children with Down syndrome are born to older parents Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition Most people with Down syndrome have IQs that fall in the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35 years
Down syndrome Myth Fact People with Down syndrome have a short life span Adults with Down syndrome are unemployable Life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome is approaching that of peers without Down syndrome Businesses are seeking young adults with Down syndrome for a variety of positions
Down syndrome Myth Fact People with Down syndrome are always happy Children with Down syndrome should be placed in segregated special education programs People with Down syndrome experience a full range of emotions Children with Down syndrome have been included in regular academic classrooms in schools across the country
Causes Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome
Characteristics Common physical traits of Down syndrome: low muscle tone small stature upward slant to the eyes a single deep crease across the center of the palm
Characteristics People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions: congenital heart defects respiratory and hearing problems Alzheimer's disease childhood leukemia thyroid conditions Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives!!
Factors which Inhibit Learning Delayed motor skills – fine & gross Auditory & Visual impairment Speech & Language impairment Shorter concentration span Difficulties with retention Difficulties with generalization Avoidance strategies
Fine & Gross Motor Delay Classroom Strategies: Provide additional practice (all motor skills improve with practice) Provide wrist & finger strengthening exercises (threading, tracing, drawing, cutting) Use a wide range of multi-sensory activities & materials Keep activities as meaningful & enjoyable as possible
Auditory Impairment Classroom Strategies: Place student near front of class Speak directly to student Reinforce speech with facial expression, sign or gesture Reinforce speech with visuals (pictures, concrete materials) Repeat what other students say a-loud
Visual Impairment Classroom Strategies: Place student near front of class Use larger type Use simple & clear presentation
Speech & Language Impairment Classroom Strategies: Give time to process language & respond Listen carefully Check understanding – ask student to repeat back Teach reading & writing Avoid closed questions – encourage multiple word utterances or answers Encourage student to lead
Concentration Span Classroom Strategies: Use peers to keep student on task Place student next to teacher’s knee (at circle) Work on computers Build a range of short, focused & clearly defined tasks into a larger lesson Vary level of demand from task to task
Retention & Generalization Classroom Strategies: Present new skills in a variety of ways (concrete, practical & visual materials) Offer additional explanations and demonstrations Extra time & support for repetition & reinforcement
Structure & Routine Classroom Strategies: Provide visual timetables Progress throughout the day that can be tracked Stick to routine as much as possible Prepare student beforehand if there is going to be a change of routine Engage student in preparing for next activity by giving a specific task
Avoidance & Behavior Classroom strategies: Set clear rules & boundaries Use short, clear instructions Distinguish “can’t do” from “won’t do” Reinforce desired behaviors Re-direct non-desired behaviors Give lots of praise!
General Strategies The research suggests that: Best learning arrangements are 1:1 & small group Most effective instructional place is the student’s desk Hands-on & real materials are most effective for instruction * Gloria Wolpert
Inclusion? Pros Cons Acceptance by kids Peer role models Gained independence Academic progress Social benefits Friendships Reading! Curriculum Level of support Lack of Professional Development Limited resources Lack of therapies College? *Debbie Johnson
YES! Inclusion Research shows that students do better academically when working in inclusive settings Peers model age-appropriate behavior Opportunities to develop relationships with kids from their own communities Inclusion in school is a step towards inclusion in the life of the community & society as a whole *Sandy Alton
YES! Inclusion General Education Teachers indicate that inclusion of children with Down syndrome is successful! Teachers reported the experience as: “Challenging, rewarding & of great value to their general education students as well as the child with Down syndrome” * Gloria Wolpert
Resources National Down Syndrome http://www.ndss.org/ Alton, S. (2003). Including pupils with Down’s syndrome. Down’s Syndrome Association (UK), 1 -16. Johnson, D. (2006). Listening to the views of those involved in the inclusion of pupils with Down’s syndrome into mainstream schools. Support for Learning, 21 (1), 24 – 29. Wolpert, G. (2001). Successful daily practices of inclusion teachers of children with Down syndrome. Manhattan College, 143, 1 – 11.