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.
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.
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