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Speech and language development for teenagers with Down syndrome (11-16 years)

Sue Buckley and Gillian Bird

Teenagers with Down syndrome have significant delays in speech and language skills which will affect their progress during their secondary school years. The social and emotional effects of limited spoken language abilities become more significant during this life stage, and will affect the quality of life of adults with Down syndrome if they are not addressed. This module includes information on the range of speech and language skills achieved by teenagers and evidence of progress during teenage years, based on available research. This module provides guidelines for the assessment of vocabulary, grammar, speech sound production and interactive communication skills, and also includes activities to progress teenagers' skills across all of these areas. The authors emphasise the importance of improving the quality and quantity of everyday communication experience for teenagers with Down syndrome and the equally essential need to work on specifically targeted activities for both speech and language skills. The majority of speech and language targets can be incorporated into the regular curriculum and daily activities in the classroom. The activities are equally relevant to special education and mainstream education settings. This module follows on from Speech and language development for individuals with Down syndrome - An overview [DSii-03-01] which should be read first. This will provide the reader with a basic understanding of speech and language development and approaches to therapy.

Buckley SJ, Bird G. Speech and language development for teenagers with Down syndrome (11-16 years). Down Syndrome Issues and Information. 2002.


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Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI)

DSE's Reading and Language Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome (RLI) is an evidence-based programme designed to teach reading and language skills to children with Down syndrome.

RLI incorporates best practice in structured activities delivered in fast-paced daily teaching sessions. It was evaluated in a randomised controlled trial and found to improve rates of progress compared to ordinary teaching.

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