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How Down Syndrome Affects Child Language Development

Extended Project Presentation on Down Syndrome and its impacts on Child Language Development

Veronica Mervild

on 5 February 2013

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Transcript of How Down Syndrome Affects Child Language Development

Phonological Development Symptoms of Down Syndrome What is Down Syndrome? Down Syndrome is a condition caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21
There are three different types of Down Syndrome:
Regular Trisomy 21,
It is a condition which affects around 1 in every 920 babies born in the UK
It causes characteristic physical and intellectual features
It falls under the bracket of mental retardation
It causes delays in Language Development Syntactical Development The idea of syntactical development is that the child is developing the grammar of a language Semantic Development The terms lexical and semantic development describe the development of words and their meanings. Social Communicative Development refers to the development of children's social skills and communication in social situations.
It is one of the first signs of communication skills, and develops throughout life.
All babies show signs of social communicative development:
laughing and
cuddling. EPQ Presentation by Veronica Mervild How Down Syndrome Affects Child Language Development Generally, people with Down Syndrome look different, they have a flat facial profile, and their eyes slant upwards.
They also have smaller ears, a flat back of the head and a long tongue.
They are also generally shorter than average and have poor muscle tone
People with Down Syndrome also have broad hands
It is a life-threatening condition which causes almost half of the people affected to have heart problems, of which only some can be treated
It can also cause gut problems Social Communicative Development Phonological development is where a child learns the phonemes (sounds) in the words of a particular language. No child is born tuned to only one language; we could learn any language. Fromkin, Rodman and Hyams (2011) stated that phonological development is ‘the component of grammar which includes the inventory of sounds (phonetics and phonemic units) and rules for their combination and pronunciation’. Cooing Cooing is the production of open-mouthed vowels such as 'oo' and 'aah'
It is the first of the pre-verbal stages
This cooing is the first linguistic development in children and shows them producing the easiest of the phonemes they have heard in their environment In a typical child it would usually occur at around the age of 0 - 3 months
This is their first linguistic communication. In children with Down Syndrome it occurs between the age of 0 - 12 months.
It is unlikely that there will be much of a delay in this stage of development. Babbling Babbling is the combination of the open-mouthed vowel sounds made in the cooing stage and consonant sounds.
Examples of reduplicated babbling are 'dada' and 'gaga'.
Examples of variegated babbling are 'daba' and 'gagoo' A typical child starts babbling at around 2 to 6 months
This is marginally dependant on the intellectual functioning of the child
The average age is 4 months In children with Down Syndrome babbling begins between the ages of 4 and 8 months
The average age is 7 months
This shows some delay which is consistent with the ideas of Lenneberg. Proto-words Proto-words are the grey area between babbling and first words.
They sound like words but aren't exactly right.
This means that they cannot be considered to be words even though they consistently refer to the same things, for example 'goggie' may be consistently applied to a dog, so we know this is a proto-word. This occurs between 8 and 36 months in children with Down Syndrome
The average age is around 18 months, however this is harder to calculate because of the varying degrees of mental capacity This occurs between the ages of 6 to 23 months in a typical child.
The average age is around 12 months however this does vary. He also states that words are ‘a stretch of sound that has to be memorised because it cannot be generated by rules.' Steven Pinker refers to a word as ‘a stretch of sound that expresses a concept’. Children must have cognitive abilities before they can say genuine words. First Words First words are largely indicative of the child's linguistic and cognitive development. There are occasions where some children won't speak their first single word, however they will take a little longer but the first recognisable thing they say will be a series of two or three words rather than just one. The amount of words in the productive vocabulary of children is often a smaller amount than that which they understand Most linguists put the rate of acquisition at around 10 words per day First words tend to fall into quite similar categories, with the most common being nouns. Katherine Nelson put the early words of children into 4 different categories:
- naming
- action
- social
- modifying. In a typical child, first words are seen at around the age of 12 months. Once children reach 18 months they have a productive vocabulary of around 50 words, By 24 months they have a productive vocabulary of around 200 words At 36 months the productive vocabulary reaches around 2000 words. It is widely accepted that children understand more words than they produce. Productive Vocabulary Comparison with a child with Down Syndrome This shows that the development of a child with Down Syndrome compared with that of a typical child is severely delayed, and this delay grows over time. Children put words together in patterns and this develops their understanding of the control of meaning through positioning of words. At around 18 months a typical child will start to combine words into meaningful sequences Brown's Stages of Syntactic Development In stage 1 there is more intent than actual meaning in what they say; an example is ‘that car’ in the place of ‘that is a car’.
Between 15 and 30 months of age
Productive vocabulary of between 50 and 60 words
MLUms of around 1.75 morphemes Coggins’ 1979 study on children with Down Syndrome in stage 1 classified all two-word utterances of four children with Down Syndrome to find that they showed as much diversity as those of typical children
70% of their utterances fell into the same nine semantic categories as those of the typical children
Children with Down Syndrome were, similarly to typical children, unable to form any conditional or hypothetical statements
They simply reached this stage later than typical children, the amount of delay was very individual. Studies on Children with Down Syndrome Stage 1 Stage 2 In stage 2 children start to apply the ‘–ing’ suffix to words
They also start to use basic prepositions
And begin to pluralise
28 to 36 months
MLUms of around 2.25 morphemes Stage 3 Age of 36 to 42 months
MLUm of around 2.75 morphemes
Irregular past tense
Possessive ending -'s
Uncontractable copula Stage 4 Regular past tense
Third person regular present tense
Use of articles
40 to 46 months of age
MLUm of between 3.0 – 3.7 Stage 5 42 to 52 months of age
3rd person irregular
Uncontractable auxiliary verb
Contractable copula
Contractible auxiliary
MLUm of this stage is between: 3.7 and 4.5 Rondal (1980) found that spontaneous imitations produced both by children with Down Syndrome and typical children were comparable both in number and in complexity.
This was not only at stage 1 but at all stages of syntactic development. Coggins and Morrison (1981) found that the children with Down Syndrome vary considerably in the amount of spontaneous imitations produced. Dooley (1977) conducted a year long observational study of two children with Down Syndrome
Over one year, one of the children made progress equivalent to that a typical child would make in the space of 1 month
The other child's MLUm decreased from 1.84 to 1.73
Apart from the lack of change over the period of a year, the children were similar to typical children on internal measures. However A.E. Fowler (1984) reports on a child with Down Syndrome whose language moved from Stage 1 to Stage 3/4 over the course of 3 years.
Although this shows some delay it is not as much as shown by Dooley's study. Overall this suggests that there is some degree of delay in the syntactical development of children with Down Syndrome, however this delay is very individual.

It could be suggested that when carrying out further studies on this that a larger group should be used to form more reliable results. Early Communication Skills Most babies born with Down Syndrome have good non-verbal communication skills. They make eye-contact, look and smile with comparatively little delay to a typical child. They like to communicate and enjoy smiling and babble games. These things are a good foundation or social skills, and most children with Down Syndrome will continue to be very social throughout their lives. From around 18 months they will pick up gestures such a pointing and waving. A number of research studies have highlighted that the use of intentional gestures to communicate is a particular strength for children with Down Syndrome. Having Down Syndrome won't stop you making friends! THANK YOU FOR LISTENING

I will leave you with the thoughts of Ciarra and then answer any questions
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