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Down Syndrome Early Intervention Program

The Center for Childhood Speech and Language Disorders at Beaumont Children's established an Early Intervention Program for Children with Down Syndrome in 1989 out of a growing need to serve special children. By incorporating what we know about specific speech and language disorders and what we have observed in children with Down Syndrome, a successful approach has been established.

Children who are treated in this unique early intervention program have the opportunity to obtain maximum stimulation at a critical time during development. All families observe treatment and take home specific speech and language activities to help their child maximize their potential.

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder, which affects the development of physical structures, motor functioning, cognitive abilities and communicative abilities in varying degrees. The degree and type of speech and language impairment a child with Down Syndrome exhibits varies from child to child.

Service Overview

This is a specialized treatment program for children between the ages of 15 months and 6 years. Children who are treated in this unique early intervention program obtain maximum stimulation at a critical time during development, to optimize their speech and language abilities.

The program includes:

  • individual treatment sessions which focus on intensive speech and language stimulation
  • group treatment sessions which focus upon beginning socialization skills, as well as carry-over of language skills within a group setting
  • play-oriented treatment sessions to provide "hands-on" experiences while emphasizing imitation of speech
  • direct parent training with observation of treatment sessions to enable the learning of stimulation techniques for use within the home

Skills of Speech-Language Pathologists

Our nationally-accredited staff members are clinically certified in speech and language pathology and are specialists in the areas of pediatric speech and language disorders. In addition, our department is a recognized training center for physicians and graduate-level students in speech and language pathology.

Conditions Treated

Children with Down syndrome exhibit:

  • low muscle tone
  • decreased ability to plan and program oral motor movements
  • difficulty processing information to understand language
  • difficulty retrieving and sequencing words to express ideas