Last week we discussed Rett Syndrome, a rare developmental disorder which affects neurological functioning in children. In addition to being Rett Syndrome Awareness Month, October is also dedicated to raising awareness of another developmental disorder: Down Syndrome.
One in every 691 children is born with Down syndrome, with an estimated 400,000 people currently living with the condition in the United States. Down syndrome occurs when an individual is born with three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This additional genetic material changes the course of development. In addition to health repercussions and cognitive deficits, individuals with Down syndrome may also experience difficulties with speech and communication and may benefit from therapy with a speech-language pathologist.
Children with Down syndrome are generally social and eager to communicate with those around them. Unfortunately, the developmental difficulties associated with the syndrome often cause difficulty with speech. This can include delayed language acquisition, delayed vocabulary, difficulties with the production and comprehension of grammar, and clear speech. A speech therapist will work with the child to develop the areas in which they have the most severe deficits in order to make the most of their speech and allow them to communicate as effectively as possible with those around them.
Want to help raise awareness for Down syndrome this October? Check out the National Down Syndrome Society’s web page at www.ndss.org to find ways you can help!
If you or a loved one is suffering from a speech, language, or communication difficulty, contact Speech Associates of NY to find a speech-language pathologist who can help you communicate to your fullest. Call us at 917-841-2965 or visit us on the web at speechassociatesofny.com.