Prognosis and progress : a retrospective case study of a child with Down syndrome
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The purpose of this retrospective case study is twofold: 1) to analyze the current literature regarding speech and language development and intervention in Down syndrome (DS) and 2) to investigate the experiences of a young child with DS in early intervention from birth to age three. More specifically, we are interested in understanding what a diagnosis of DS means for the developing child (clinical description), how the abilities of these children are measured prior to treatment (assessment), which strategies are commonly utilized in therapy for this population (intervention), and expected treatment outcomes for children who receive intervention (progress). By integrating data from all major areas of development, we can provide a holistic description of DS in early childhood and see how DS is manifested in a young child with this diagnosis. Furthermore, this review and case study can guide speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who are interested in evidence-based practice for clients with developmental disabilities. We interviewed the participant’s mother to gain additional perspective on the early intervention process and outcomes. After analyzing early therapeutic and educational records provided by the participant’s mother, we discovered that our participant experienced a similar pattern of speech and language development as her peers with DS; however, at age three, she appeared to be functioning at an above average level relative to expectations for children with DS. We discuss the positive indicators and environmental factors that may have contributed to her success. Our findings support the importance of providing early intervention for children with developmental disabilities.