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date: 07 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Delayed and disordered speech and language development are among the primary challenges for young children with Down syndrome. Common sources of these delays include frequent ear infections and fluctuating hearing loss early in life, significant oral motor impairments, and delayed onset of joint attention and related cognitive skills. This chapter is focused on the early childhood period up to 8 years of age because most of the intervention research has been conducted during this period. The review is limited to two types of intervention: milieu teaching (MT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) because much of the published research has focused on these two approaches. The review reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the research to date. Four directions for future research are proposed, most importantly combining MT and AAC approaches in a single flexible model of early communication and language intervention for young children with DS.

Keywords: Down syndrome, early communication, language development, augmentative communication, milieu teaching, parenting, single-subject designs, randomized controlled trials

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