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Down Syndrome - vocabulary/speaking???

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ds was diagnosed with apraxia and couldn't even babble at age 3 (no ma-ma, ba-ba, etc). In addition to speech therapy, I surrounded him with language via audio tapes/CDs from the library. I got very simple stories, fairy tales, nursery rhymes and played them over and over and over and .... over again. I think the repetition was very important even though I got sick and tired of hearing them so much. I especially looked for the ones that were taped at a slower speed.


Very gradually, I increased the length and complexity (of language) of the books on tape. Now, at 6, his speech problems have been resolved. I don't know if this will help in your situation but it can't hurt, doesn't involve much work on your part and it's free.




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What age is your dd? Beyond the cognative issues, a lot of the problem for kids with DS has to do with their low muscle tone, which makes it hard for them to form the words. (Another issue is the relative size of the mouth to tongue, which is why kids with DS so often have protruding tongues. But you can't do anything about that.) We started very early working to strengthen the muscles in ds's mouth. In the younger years, a lot of that can be done with food. (For example, when ds was in the high chair learning to eat solids, I used to take pieces of pancake and put them between his gum and cheek. Then he'd have to use the muscles in his mouth/tongue to move the food to the center of his mouth.) We also used a Nuk brush in the early years.


Sometimes I think we were too successful. Ds (now 10) has developed quite a fixation with oral stimulation (hands in mouth, playing with tongue, etc.). But he does say the funniest things sometimes.

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Our DS son is now 15 and has a full repertoire of language with his only problem being speaking too fast so that it is hard to understand. One thing that we found very helpful at age 1 was Living Books on the computer with a touch window screen so that he could interact with the various animations available. It reads the book to him over and over as he interacts with it. We also taught him sign language (SEE-sighing exact english) and he had over 150 signs by the time he was 3. It really helped him communicate. The 3rd thing we did was to get him a sister(LOL)-by the time our daughter was 18 mos and starting to babble our son was 3 and ready to learn to speak-he and Rebecca chartered away in baby talk (which we weren't too good at) and they learned to talk together.



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Yes, our daughter's younger brother has been the most inexpensive in-home therapy all the way around. We too use sign language and have her try and say the words. My son who is almost 2 years younger is moving at a much quicker pace than she is so I was wondering what else I can do that might help her. She is now 4.5. Thank you for the ideas ladies!!!




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