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An Informative Media Project on Down Syndrome
Transcript of An Informative Media Project on Down Syndrome
Definition of Down Syndrome
Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. This condition is a product of abnormal cell division that results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. This genetic disorder, which varies in severity, causes lifelong intellectual disability and health problems and developmental delays.
"Don't Limit Me"
Physical Symptoms of Down Syndrome
Decreased or poor muscle tone
Short neck, with excess skin at the back of the neck
Flattened facial profile and nose
Small head, ears, and mouth
Upward slanting eyes, often with a skin fold that comes out from the upper eyelid and covers the inner corner of the eye
White spots on the colored part of the eye (called Brushfield spots)
Wide, short hands with short fingers
A single, deep, crease across the palm of the hand-referred to as the Simian crease
A wide gap between the first and second toes
Intellectual and Developmental Symptoms of Down Syndrome
Cognitive impairment, problems with thinking and learning, is common in people with
Down syndrome and usually ranges from mild to moderate. Only rarely is Down syndrome
associated with severe cognitive impairment.
Other common cognitive and behavioral problems may include
Short attention span
Delayed language and speech development
Motor skills progress at a slower rate for children with Down syndrome than for those without. These delays in motor development reduce infants’ prospects for exploring and learning about the world around them. Therefore this further affects cognitive development. Poor oral motor control may affect the development of language skills. The most effective way in which to improve motor skills for any individual is with practice, visual prompts, and models of imitation.
Expressive Language, Grammar, and Speech Clarity
Children with Down Syndrome show specific delays and impairment in learning to use spoken language relative to their non-verbal understanding. Almost every child will have expressive language that is delayed relative to their language comprehension. These children experience two types of expressive difficulty - delay in mastering sentence structures and grammar, and specific difficulties in developing clear speech production. Speech production of individuals with Down syndrome may be related to differences in oral structure and function. "Structural differences include a small oral cavity with a relatively large tongue and a narrow, high arched palate. Missing, poorly differentiated, or additional muscles characterize facial structures, and differences in nerve innervation have been found as well (Miller & Leddy, 1998). These differences are thought to account, in part, for poor speech intelligibility through dysarthric factors such as reduced speed, range of motion, and coordination of the articulators."
-US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health
Many children with Down Syndrome
struggle with basic number skills and their number skills are typically about 2 years behind their reading skills. As of today, the best advice is to draw on what is known about the children’s learning strengths and to teach to these strengths. Based on what we know now, teachers should use maths teaching systems that make full use of visual supports in order to teach number concepts
Verbal Short Term Memory
Short-term memory is the immediate memory system that
holds information ‘in mind’ for short periods of time and is able
to support all kinds of learning and cognitive functioning. It has separate components that are specialized for processing visual or verbal information. The ability of children with Down syndrome to process and hold verbal information is not as good as their ability to hold and process information that is visual. These verbal short-term memory problems make it difficult to learn new sentences and words. They also make it much harder to process spoken language and this can negatively affect learning in the classroom. Studies propose that the processing and recollection of spoken information is enhanced when it is supported by relevant picture material. This information has led to educators stressing the importance of using visual supports including signs,pictures, and print when teaching children with Down syndrome, as this approach makesfull use of their stronger visual memory skills. Overall, teachers must keep in mind that students with
Down Syndrome have a stronger visual short term memory as
opposed to long term memory and auditory
memory, both short and long term .
How does Down Syndrome manifest itself in schools
Younger children with Down Syndrome display an increased vulnerability in terms of:
Disruptive, impulsive, hyperactive, and attentive behavior
Signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder-anxious, repetitive, stuck, and inflexible behaviors
Deficits in social relatedness, self-immersed, repetitive stereotypical behaviors
Chronic sleep difficulties, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and mood related problems
Older children with Down Syndrome, adolescents, as well as young adults with Down syndrome with better language and communication and cognitive skills presenting with increased vulnerability to:
Obsessive Compulsive behaviors
Regression with decline in loss of cognitive and social skills
Chronic sleep difficulties, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and mood related problems
What concerns do these characteristics raise?
In younger children, characteristics of hyperactivity raise concerns of coexisting oppositional disorder and ADHD. Characteristics of anxious behavior raise concerns of co-existing generalized anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Lastly, characteristics of deficit in social relatedness raise concerns of co-existing autism or pervasive developmental disorder
In older children, the same concerns show up as well
as a concern for co-existing sleep disorders
and sleep apnea
How does this show up
Children with Down Syndrome will appear to have limitations in language and communication skills, cognition, and non-verbal problem solving abilities present with increased vulnerabilities in terms of social and learning aspects. This will be most apparent in a school setting when they are constantly learning and experiencing social and cognitive interaction. The characteristics of anxiety, obsessive compulsive behavior, and hyperactivity will appear more likely in school because of the sensory overload they are experiencing from different factors in a school factor.
What are Some Implications/Long Term Effects of Down Syndrome
Studies show that:
Heart defects: Almost half of babies with Down syndrome have heart defects
Intestinal defects: About 12 percent of babies with Down syndrome are born with intestinal malformations that require surgery.
Vision problems: More than 60 percent of children with Down syndrome have vision problems, including crossed eyes (esotropia), near- or far-sightedness and cataracts. Glasses, surgery or other treatments usually can improve vision. A child with Down syndrome should be examined by a pediatric ophthalmologist (eye doctor) within the first 6 months of life and have regular vision exams.
Hearing loss: About 75 percent of children with Down syndrome have some hearing loss. Babies with Down syndrome should be screened for hearing loss at birth and again during the first months of life. They also should have regular hearing exams so any problems can be treated before they hinder development of language and other skills
Infections: Children with Down syndrome tend to have many colds and ear infections, as well as bronchitis and pneumonia. Children with Down syndrome should receive all the standard childhood immunizations, which help prevent some of these infections.
Thyroid problems: About 1 percent of babies with Down syndrome are born with congenital hypothyroidism, a thyroid hormone deficiency that can affect growth and brain development. Congenital hypothyroidism can be detected with routine newborn screening tests and treated with oral doses of thyroid hormone. Children with Down syndrome also are at increased risk of acquiring thyroid problems; they should be tested yearly.
Leukemia: Fewer than 1 in 100 children with Down syndrome develop leukemia (a blood cancer). Affected children often can be successfully treated with chemotherapy.
Memory loss: Individuals with Down syndrome are more likely than unaffected individuals to develop Alzheimer’s disease, which is characterized by progressive memory loss, personality changes and other problems. Adults with Down syndrome tend to develop Alzheimer’s disease at an earlier age than unaffected individuals. Studies suggest that about 25 percent of adults with Down syndrome over age 35 have symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
*statistics taken from Down Syndrome Education Online and NDSS (National Down Syndrome Society)
What needs might this student have during the school day?
Strategies and Methods to implement and use in the classroom
Students with Down syndrome may:
need to go to school nurse for medications when necessary
miss class time due to frequent medical appointments
have behavior issues
need visual and auditory accommodations for classroom instruction
require physical, occupational, and speech therapies
need extra time and assistance with class work
require therapeutic staff support in the classroom
Inclusion is important:
Inclusion in education is an important ideal for a child with Down syndrome because of the ways in which it allows the child to be represented like a child without the disorder.
They should be included in activities and held to the same standard as other children
Children with Down syndrome should be encouraged to express themselves through different behaviors and sometimes will express themselves in undesired ones.
EDP 256 An Informative Media Project
By: Aaron Barket, Payton Iannarino, Kait Turner
They are visual learners.
They understand a lot more than they can say.
They are able to follow classroom rules and routines.
They will need help to remember instructions for example, shorter phrases or visual clues.
They have the same feelings as any other child.
Teacher expectations of behavior, attitude and ability need to remain high.
In order for the learning process to work with students with Down syndrome there MUST be encouragement among the instructors and fellow classmates. When this occurs those students affected by Down syndrome will continually show signs of learning progress throughout their lifetime.
**It is important to not limit a student with Down syndrome because they will never progress intellectually if you do not try to treat them like everyone else.
Encouragement is Key
Strengths of Children with Down Syndrome
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Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
2. "Down Syndrome and Learning."
Better Health Channel
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of Victoria, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
3. "Down Syndrome Special Needs Factsheet."
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The Nemours Foundation, 01 Sept. 2013. Web. 02 Nov. 2014
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National Down Syndrome Society
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5. "Birth Defects."
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6. "Education for Individuals with Down Syndrome - An Overview."
Down Syndrome Education Online, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
7. Special Education Video-enhanced Pearson Etext Access Card. N.p.: Pearson
College Div, 2013. Print
8. Gilmore, Linda, Jennifer Campbell, and Monica Cuskelly. "Developmental
Expectations, Personality Stereotypes, and Attitudes Towards Inclusive
Education: Community and Teacher Views of Down Syndrome."
International Journal of Disability, Development and Education
50.1 (2003): 65-76. Web.
9. Chapman, Robin S. "Language Development in Children and Adolescents
with Down Syndrome."
Mental Retardation and Developmental
Reviews 3.4 (1997): 307-12. Web.
A Day in the Life of a Child with Down Syndrome
1. "Teaching Strategies."
Down Syndrome WA
. N.p., n.d.
Web. 02 Nov. 2014
2. "Best Practices for Teaching Down's Syndrome Students."
Sue Watson, n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
3. "Accessing the Curriculum."
. DSE, n.d. Web. 03 Nov.
4. "Tips for Teaching Students with Down Syndrome."
Down Syndrome Aim
High Resource Center.
Center for Disability Services, n.d. Web. 03
5. "Strategies for Learning and Teaching."
Special Education Support Service
SESS, n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.
3. Teaching reading to students with Down syndrome
should be characterized by a strong emphasis on visual learning.
Visual demonstrations, pictures and illustrations can also be successfully used to assist in providing effective instruction in other subject areas of the curriculum.
4. The use of manipulatives can be beneficial in the development of number concepts. The use of physical demonstrations and activities are important when teaching math concepts. This ties into the emphasis on visual learning for students with Down Syndrome. An example of this might be using interlocking multi-link cubes to teach adding and subtracting.
5. When teaching Students with Down Syndrome be sure to encourage the students to perform at the highest level possible, so as they feel that they are not taught easier than any other students. Not challenging them would be detrimental to
1. Encourage physical fitness and involvement in all
school activities, as well as extracurricular programs because students with Down Syndrome are positively affected when enrolled in mainstream education systems and thoroughly enjoy participating with peers in all kinds of classroom activities. Encourage them to try out for the football team, marching band, or a musical play. Also include them in EVERYTHING other students are participating in.
2. You should allow adequate time for the child to process what you have said and respond. Positive reinforcements should be used for students with Down syndrome to boost their self-esteem and positive learning experience. This should be done both at home and school. A simple hug
or high-five can go a long way.
6. Having structured learning opportunities and an organized classroom for students with Down Syndrome is key to helping them connect with students. An example of this might be using picture charts to display in the classroom to represent the class schedule.
7. Students with Down Syndrome should be full members in the classroom to the extent that they can be. Teachers can use effective inclusion by being fully supportive of inclusion in the classroom and offering equal opportunities to all students despite their differences.
8. When teaching, teachers should use as many concrete materials and real world authentic situations as possible. Applying real life situations to teaching will allow students to make connections to learning.
9. While teachers should never talk down to a student with disabilities they should make sure that they are using language appropriate for student understanding and speak slowly when necessary.
10. Because students with Down Syndrome have a better short term memory, teachers should always break tasks into smaller steps and provide clear instructions for each step.
Overall, it is very important to presume competency and have high expectations when educating individuals with Down syndrome. As a teacher you should never limit a student with Down Syndrome and assume that they cannot learn what other students are learning. "Research has shown that effective academic interventions and inclusive education are cornerstones of effective education plans for individuals with Down syndrome so they can attain their educational goals, be gainfully employed and be fully contributing citizens
in the community."