Number skills for teenagers with Down syndrome (11-16 years)
Gillian Bird and Sue Buckley
Teenagers and adults with Down syndrome vary widely in their interest and achievements in number skills and mathematics. There is only a small amount of research in the area and little that provides guidance for effective teaching methods and materials. Typically, the achievements of individuals with Down syndrome in number are at a lower level than their achievements in literacy. However, there is a wide range of progress and while some teenagers find number difficult, others enjoy mathematics. They are helped to do this by understanding the purpose of developing number skills, for example for managing their own money. Research findings indicate that good teaching, using their visual learning strengths, promotes learning and that teenagers with Down syndrome follow the same stages of progression as typically developing young people, although often with more steps and practice needed at each stage. This module describes the steps in learning about number so that teenagers with Down syndrome can receive sufficient teaching and practice for learning these skills while they are at secondary school. It also includes examples of students' work and achievements. The information and activities cover a range of skills, from basic to advanced, in order to meet the needs of all teenagers, whatever their current level of achievements, and they should be equally relevant in mainstream or special education classrooms. This module links with the overview module which presents and discusses the research on number for children with Down syndrome and the implications for teaching and learning.
Bird G, Buckley SJ. Number skills for teenagers with Down syndrome (11-16 years). Down Syndrome Issues and Information. 2002.
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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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