Stuttering Treatment Can Improve Speech for Children with Down Syndrome



Boy with Down Sydrome in Speech Therapy


Down Syndrome is the most frequently occurring chromosomal disorder and impacts a child’s development with regards to language, cognition and motor skills. Children with Down Syndrome routinely receive and benefit from speech-therapy for improvement of articulation, development of syntax, grammar and semantics. What most people don’t know is that many children and adults with Down Syndrome struggle to communicate due to disfluency, or a stutter. Though the two terms, stuttering and Down Syndrome might not seem to go together often, it occurs is as many as 45% of adults and 50% of children. Though research regarding best practices for treatment have been largely limited, a new study from the University of Alberta aims to change that.

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Speech Difficulties in Down Syndrome

Speech Therapy Techniques
Speech Therapist Working with Child

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Down syndrome (DS) is an incurable genetic disorder that has a profound impact upon a person’s physical, mental, and social development. Children with DS have anatomical and physiological differences in the mouth and throat region that affect feeding, swallowing, and oral motor skills. They also often have hypotonia, or poor muscle tone in the mouth area. The symptoms of Down syndrome, such as speech and language difficulties range from mild to severe from patient to patient.

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