Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Down Syndrome: Helping Your Child Learn to Communicate
Down syndrome usually have delayed speech and language
development. Typically, these children have a much harder time learning to talk
(expressive language) than with understanding what they hear (receptive
language). On average, children with Down syndrome start using words around 16
months of age—about 6 months later than other children.
Children with Down syndrome are often taught sign language to
enhance communication and bridge the gap between expressive language and
receptive language. Although some parents worry that using sign language will
interfere with their child's speech development, evidence suggests that the
reverse is true. Sign language gradually decreases as speech abilities develop.
Simple measures can help your baby to develop speech and language
speech therapist can provide specific suggestions
based on your child's abilities. Usually, this includes detailed information
for a home program to help your child practice speaking.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - PediatricsSpecialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Current as ofJanuary 26, 2016
Current as of:
January 26, 2016
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
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