Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome
Mike Dowling and Adam Bourret
What is Down Syndrome?
It is the most recognizable genetic
condition associated with intellectual
 Is one of three chromosomal
abnormalities, the most common one is
called trisomy 21
Trisomy 21
Is the presence of an extra number 21
 Resulting in 47 chromosomes instead of
46 (23 from each parent)
 Can be diagnosed prenatal
 Down Syndrome Video
1 in 700 children are born with DS
 5,000 born in the US each year
 Fathers are genetically responsible for 25%
of all cases
 Women over the age of 35 present the
highest risk (1 in 290)
 age
40: 1 in 150 births
 At 45: the risk is 1 in 20 births
short stature
 poor muscle tone
 small nose with flat
 eyes slanted up ward
and outward
 exaggerated folds of
skin around eyes
 mild to moderate
 under developed
respiratory and cardio
vascular systems
short legs and arms in
relation to torso
 short neck
 small low-set ears
 small head and flat face
 broad hands and feet
 stubby fingers and toes
 poor balance
 perceptual difficulties
 poor vision and audition
Motor Performance
Delays or deficits
 Slowness of movement
Have a smaller overall brain volume
 Significant
reductions in both cerebrum
and cerebellum.
Down Syndrome
Risk Factors
 Age more rapidly
 Median Age at death:
 Caucasian:
50 years
 African American: 25 years
 Other Races: 11 years
Teaching Strategies
Most Individuals with DS do not
progress beyond the intellectual
capabilities of a 6-8 year old
 Don’t
assume child in incapable though
Rate of response may also be slower
 More repetition is necessary
 Short attention span
 Distractibility
Effective Strategies
Effective For Students With DS
 Routine
 Repetition
 Scaffolding
 Use
of peer partners
 Know individual student needs
 Reproductive teaching methods
 Attention
Task Analysis
Helpful in modifying a task for individual
 Break tasks into smaller steps
 Analyze the sequence
 Train each step
 Ex: Breaking down the steps of how to
throw a ball and teaching them in
Students with DS generally have a
slower rate of response
 Pacing involves both the rate of
speaking & moving
 Wait Time
 Use demonstrations and visuals
 Example: After asking a question wait a
minimum of 5 seconds for the response
Simple yet effective
 Low task persistence
 More interested in people than objects
 Motivated by the praise and
encouragement of significant others
Adventure Education
Promotes positive social skills between
students with DS and peers
 Promotes high levels of enthusiasm &
 *Modification Task*
Behavior Management
 Routine, rules & consequences
 Make learning exciting
 Positive reinforcement
 Should promote independence & self
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Fox, S., Farrell. P., & Davis. P. (2004). Factors Associated with the Effective Inclusion
of Primary-aged Pupils with Down’s Syndrome. British Journal of Special
Education, 31, 184-191
Grenier, M., Rogers, R., & Iarrusso, K. (2008). Including Students with Down
Syndrome in Adventure Programming. Journal of Physical Education,
Recreation, and Dance, 79, 30-36
Klein, M. D., Cook, R. E., & Richardson-Gibbs, A. M. (2001). Strategies for Including
Children with Special Needs in Early Childhood Settings. USA: Delmar.
Nadel, L. & Rosenthal, D. (1995). Down Syndrome: Living and Learning in the Community. New York: Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Pueschel, S. (2001). A Parent’s Guide to Down Syndrome: Toward a Brighter Future. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.
Weeks, D. & Chua, R & Elliot, D. (2000). Perceptual-Motor Behavior in Down Syndrome. Library of Congress Cataloging-inPublication Data.
Winnick, J. P. (2005). Adapted Physical Education and Sport (4th ed.). USA: Human
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