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Down Syndrome (updated April 2000)

What information can you provide about Down syndrome?

Down syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal abnormality, occurring once in approximately every 800 to 1,000 live births. Over 350,000 people in the United States have Down syndrome. Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called non-disjunction. People with Down syndrome have an extra, critical portion of the number 21 chromosome present in all, or some, of their cells. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with the syndrome. Most people with Down syndrome have some level of mental retardation; however, the level usually falls into the mild to moderate range and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. Children with Down syndrome learn to sit, walk, talk, play, toilet train and do most other activities only somewhat later than their peers without down syndrome.

Early intervention services, which begin shortly after birth, help children with Down syndrome develop to their full potential. Quality educational programs, along with a stimulating home environment and good medical care enable people with Down syndrome to become contributing members of their families and communities. (From http://www.nas.com/downsyn/)

Following are links to related ERIC Digests, frequently asked questions (FAQs), Internet resources, and Internet discussion groups, as well as selected citations from the ERIC database and the search terms we used to find the citations.

You can search the ERIC database yourself on the Internet through either of the following web sites:

ERIC Citations

The full text of ERIC documents (for example, EDxxxxxx) is available:

  • In microfiche collections worldwide; to find your nearest ERIC Resource Collection, point your web browser to: http://ericae.net/derc.htm.
  • For a fee through the ERIC Document Reproduction Service (EDRS): http://edrs.com, service@edrs.com, or 1.800.443.ERIC. (no longer available)

The full text of citations beginning with an EJ number (for example, EJxxxxxx) is available for a fee from:

ERIC Search Terms Used

Down syndrome

EJ517849 EA531582
A Quartet of Success Stories: How to Make Inclusion Work
Farlow, Leslie
Educational Leadership, v53 n5 p51-55 Feb 1996
ISSN: 0013-1784
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUN96
As the profiles of four mentally handicapped teenagers show, students with severe disabilities can benefit from being included in subject-area classes. To facilitate inclusion, teachers can allow peers to facilitate learning, prime students to be successful participants, give students valued roles, utilize existing expertise, and adapt the curriculum.
Descriptors: Autism; Case Studies; *Cooperative Learning; Cost Effectiveness; Downs Syndrome; High Schools; *Inclusive Schools; *Peer Teaching; *Severe Disabilities; *Special Needs Students; *Tutors

EJ441917 PS519227
Using Total Communication with Young Children with Down Syndrome: A Literature Review and Case Study
Gibbs, Elizabeth D.; Carswell, Lynn E.
Early Education and Development, v2 n4 p306-20 Oct 1991
ISSN: 1040-8289
Language: English
Journal Announcement: CIJJUL92
Total communication is the simultaneous use of speech and manual signs. This article presents a literature review regarding language disabilities of children with Down's syndrome and a case study concerning the effectiveness of the use of total communication with an infant with Down's syndrome.
Descriptors: Case Studies; *Downs Syndrome; Early Childhood Education; *Early Intervention; *Expressive Language; *Infants; *Language Handicaps; Literature Reviews; Manual Communication; Oral Language; Speech Therapy; *Total Communication
Identifiers: *Developmental Delays; Language Delayed; Special Needs Children

EJ439492 EC602164
Searching for a Life-Span Psychobiology of Down Syndrome: Advancing Educational and Behavioural Management Strategies
Gibson, David
International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, v38 n1 p ntal Growth through Education). Contents cover the following topics: historical review of developments regarding Down Syndrome (John Rynders), life as a journey (J. Rynders), the new baby's life within the family, (Janet Sophie Thayer), health promotion during the early years (Margaret Horrobin), stimulation of the young child's development (J. Rynders), family adjustment and adaptation (Brian H. Abery), becoming literate and socialized during the school years (J. Rynders), participating in community recreation (J. Rynders et al.), the transition from school to work and independent living (Alan Fletcher), maintaining health into adulthood (M. Horrobin), perspectives of parents and siblings (J. Rynders), and the life views of young adults with Down Syndrome (I. Karon Sherarts). Numerous photographs illustrate the personal accounts. A resource compilation by Shannon Matson lists national organizations on Down Syndrome, assistive technology and communication aids, computers/technology resource centers, recreation resources, books, and journals. Also appended are: information on reading skill stages, tips for adapting common recreation activities for young adults, and a list of assessment instruments and where they can be obtained.
Descriptors: Adapted Physical Education; Adults; *Child D yndrome Society, New York, NY. Oct 1996
Available From: National Down Syndrome Society, 666 Broadway, New York, NY 10012- 2317; phone: 800-221-4602; World Wide Web: http://www.ndss.org
EDRS Price - MF01 Plus Postage. PC Not Available from EDRS.
Language: English
Document Type: RESEARCH REPORT (143)
Geographic Source: U.S.; New York
Journal Announcement: RIEMAR97
Ninety parents of children (mean age 9.3 years) with Down syndrome and their children's teachers were surveyed to investigate the success of inclusive practices. This study examined responses on parent and teacher questionnaires and parent anecdotal records. Several factors influenced parent reports of successful inclusion experiences, including: (1) preparation of the teacher; (2) format of the curriculum (lesson plans and materials); (3) curricular style of the teacher; (4) classroom management style of the teacher; (5) unity between special education and typical education; (6) parental confidence in professionals; (7) child contact and encouragement from peers; and (8) if the child had friends in class. The teachers found inclusion challenging, rewarding, and of great value to their typical education students as well as children with Down syndrome. The report describes learning characteristics of individuals with Down syndrome and makes suggestions for classroom practice in the areas of attention, memory, concept attainment, meditational strategies and paired associates, transfer of learning, and student motivation. Difficulties in speech and language, reading, and math skills are also described, accompanied by suggestions for classroom practice. Appendices include the parent and teacher surveys. A bibliography with 40 listings is included.
Descriptors: Classroom Techniques; *Downs Syndrome; Educational Practices; *Educational Strategies; Elementary Education; *Inclusive Schools; Language Impairments; Mainstreaming; Mathematics Skills; *Parent Attitudes; Peer Relationship; Program Effectiveness; Reading Difficulties; Speech Impairments; Student Characteristics; Student Motivation; *Teacher Attitudes; *Teaching Methods

The following books on Down syndrome can be obtained from your local book store or public library:

Babies with Down Syndrome: A New Parents' Guide, edited by Karen Stray-Gundersen. Woodbine House, 6510 Bells Mill Rd., Bethesda, MD 20817. 800.843.7323; http://www.woodbinehouse.com/

Classroom Language Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. Libby Kumin. Woodbine House, 6510 Bells Mill Rd., Bethesda, MD 20817. 800.843.7323; http://www.woodbinehouse.com/

A Parent's Guide to Down Syndrome: Toward a Brighter Future Siegfriend M. Pueschel. Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., PO Box 10624, Baltimore, MD 21285-0624. 800-638-3775; http://www.brookespublishing.com

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