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Down's syndrome

Down;s Syndrome

Down's Syndrome is a chromosomal condition that usually causes a child to have some degree of learning disability, delayed development as well as having physical features that are associated with the condition.

Children with Down's Syndrome may experience difficulty or delay with their speech, language and communication skills at home or at school.

Our Speech and Language Therapists can by providing an assessment of skills and abilities and producing a therapy programme that is individual to your child.

How common is Downs Syndrome?

In England there are approximately 60,000 people with Down's Syndrome. In the United Kingdom it is estimated that 750 children a year are born with Down's Syndrome and that in every 1,000 children who are born there is one child with Down's Syndrome.

Services for Special needs schools

We provide services to special needs schools. Your school will be provided with an enthusiastic speech and language therapist that is able to dedicate part of their time to improving speech, language and communication outcomes for the pupils throughout the special needs setting.

  • Universal approach
  • Therapy based on child's needs
  • Better outcomes for pupils
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What are the signs of Downs Syndrome?

Children with Down's Syndrome generally follow a certain profile for speech, language and communication difficulties. Research suggests that children with Down's Syndrome have stronger receptive language skills than expressive language skills. Speech intelligibility generally being the greatest area of need. Children are individual and therefore the difficulties they present with vary in severity and do not have to comply with the general profile.

Difficulties include:

  • Small attention period.
  • Poor judgment.
  • Impulsive behavior.
  • Delayed learning skills.
  • Delayed receptive and expressive language development.
  • Difficulty with syntax.
  • Speech difficulties due to physical attributes of the oral cavity, tongue and palate.
  • Delayed speech development.
  • Increased chances of hearing loss.
  • Difficulties with social communication.

How does Down’s syndrome impact upon function?

Speech, language and communication skills are essential to the development of many cognitive abilities such as reasoning, recalling, thinking and social interaction. They are also vital for everyday life around school and home life. The impact of such difficulties can have a great effect on the development of a child with Down's Syndrome. Some difficulties children may experience on an everyday basis include:

  • Difficulties making friendships.
  • Difficulty expressing their thoughts and feelings due to unintelligible speech.
  • Difficulty being understood by others.
  • Difficulties with developing literacy skills.
  • Difficulties accessing the curriculum.

Such difficulties can impact upon a child’s general development and well-being. Our Speech and Language Therapists can help to decrease the level of difficulty by providing a therapy programme that is unique to the difficulties your child is experiencing.

Speech clinic

We are able to help children with any speech, language or communication difficulties and disorders in order to help children achieve their maximum potential.

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How to get a diagnosis?

Testing for down’s syndrome is usually carried out during pregnancy. This is screening test carried out by your NHS Provider between weeks 10 and 14 of pregnancy. If you have a higher chance, you will be offered further testing.

Down’s Syndrome may be suspected after birth due to the typical features of downs syndrome babies. This is called postnatal diagnosis. To confirm your babies diagnosis, genetic testing will be carried out by your healthcare provider.

How to support Downs Syndrome?

Our speech and language therapists will work alongside you to create a therapy plan based around your child's individual support needs. Our therapists can carry out observation, assessment and therapy sessions at home, in school and clinic.

Have questions?

If you have any questions about the services that we provide or the difficulties that we are able to help, do not hesitate to contact us.

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Next steps

To book an appointment or to speak to one of our qualified speech and language therapists email us on office@sltforkids.co.uk or call 0330 088 2298.


To discuss training needs within your setting please take a look at our training service page or contact training@sltforkids.co.uk.

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