Educating Children with Down Syndrome

Children With Developmental Challenges 3(2+1)

Lesson 21 : Down Syndrome

Educating Children with Down Syndrome

Shortly after a diagnoses of Down syndrome is confirmed, parents should be encouraged to enroll their child in an infant development/early intervention program. These programs offer parents special instruction in teaching their child language, cognitive, self-help, and social skills, and specific exercises for gross and fine motor development. Research has shown that stimulation during early developmental stages improves the child's chances of developing to his or her fullest potential. Continuing education, positive public attitudes, and a stimulating home environment have also been found to promote the child's overall development.

Teaching tasks in a step-by-step manner with frequent reinforcement and consistent feedback has been proven successful. Improved public acceptance of persons with disabilities along with increased opportunities for adults with disabilities to live and work independently in the community, have expanded goals for individuals with Down syndrome.


  1. Step 1: Educate children with Down syndrome with a program of early intervention. As soon as a child is born with Down syndrome, plans should be made for enrollment in speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and early-childhood education. This will be a vital step in developing language and motor skills in children with Down syndrome by the time they are old enough to attend school.

  2. Step 2: Decide whether you want to educate a child with Down syndrome in a special school for impaired children or place her in a school with children who do not have physical or mental impairments. This will depend upon the health of the child and how well early intervention programs help the child to develop learning and communication skills.

  3. Step 3: Place a child with Down syndrome in a learning environment that does not restrict their progress. Children with Down syndrome often do well in school, and a few may even go on to college. By placing them in an environment that allows them to interact with other children, they will prepare to make the transition to adulthood and independent living.

  4. Step 4: Work with school administrators, school psychiatrists, teachers and parents to create an individualized education program (IEP). By law, children with physical or mental impairments must be given a chance to thrive and excel academically. Children who are enrolled in IEP programs are usually assigned aides to help them participate and succeed in an academic environment.

  5. Step 5: Encourage a child with Down syndrome to develop occupational skills through additional vocational training once they become older. Many programs teach children with Down syndrome how to function independently once they reach adulthood.
Last modified: Friday, 13 April 2012, 6:57 AM