Children with Down Syndrome commonly experience feeding, swallowing and speech difficulties due to anatomical and physiological differences in their mouth area. These differences include a high arched palate, small upper jaw as well as low muscle tone in the tongue and weak oral muscles. Children with Down Syndrome can experience a lot of oral motor difficulty which can cause speech and feeding problems. Despite these difficulties children with Down syndrome are keen communicators but require some encouragement and training to help them do so in an effective manner. Speech and language therapy is therefore recommended to help facilitate this desire to communicate and can be quite a beneficial form of therapy.
Speech and Language Therapists can assess your child to determine their level of communication, in terms of non-verbal communication, expression and comprehension. We can then plan an appropriate treatment programme tailored towards their specific needs. Early Intervention is recommended in the case of Children with Down Syndrome even before they begin speaking.
The speech and language therapist can work on pre-verbal skills such as eye-contact, turn taking and attention. The speech and language therapist will also work on early vocabulary and language concepts. They can help support the child’s verbal and non-verbal communication, as well as their language and cognitive development. Therapy may also include exercises to help strengthen muscle tone and coordination in the mouth area, exercises to improve speech production or strategies to support language development.
Therapists at Caint will guide you on the best ways to successfully transfer the skills learned in our clinic setting to everyday settings.