Child with Down syndrome ( DS ) have several general features in common which play an of import function in how good they are able to prosecute in literacy acquisition ; some of these features are cognitive, whilst others are physical. This paper identifies some of these shared features and high spots the deductions of these for literacy direction in mainstream schoolrooms ; it so provides illustrations of possible differentiated direction in reading and authorship, and support that instructors can give to DS kids so that their specific demands are met within a regular schoolroom context. Finally, it highlights how instructors, professionals and parents can work together in an organized manner to guarantee that DS kids are being every bit supported at both school and place. DS kids make a alone part to mainstream schoolrooms ; their emotional, physical and academic demands can be demanding for the instructor but when these are met, advancement can be made. This advancement will non go on overnight but as the expression goes, “ Good things take clip. ”
Shared Features of Down Syndrome Children
Possibly the most of import feature of DS scholars is that their chronological age and physical adulthood are non declarative of their rational development, which develops at a much slower rate. For illustration, a DS pupil who is 10 old ages old might work cognitively and linguistically at the same degree as a typical 5 twelvemonth old ( Farrell & A ; Elkins, 1994 ) . DS pupils normally have problem with the development of their gross and all right motor accomplishments, which combined with a really low musculus tone affects the person ‘s ability to keep an appropriate position whilst acquisition. Fine motor accomplishment jobs mean that simple activities such as keeping a book and turning a page can be hard, as is handwriting ( Jordan, Miller & A ; Riley, 2011 ) .
Because kids with DS frequently struggle to bring forth speech sounds and talk clearly, it is widely accepted that DS kids ‘s receptive vocabulary, is more advanced than their expressive vocabulary ( Farrell & A ; Elkin, 1994 ; Jordan et Al, 2011 ) . Stoel-Gammon ( 2010 ) states that DS kids by and large have a slow vocabulary growing ; by the clip kids are six, a DS kid has a productive vocabulary of around 330 words whereas his mainstream equals have productive vocabularies of several thousand words.
Although hearing loss is a characteristic of these kids, they compensate by being extremely ocular scholars and when larning to read rely on their stronger ocular processing accomplishments to larn new words, instead than concentrating on letter-sound correspondences. Bing visually inclined, DS pupils learn to read utilizing a sight-word attack in which they recognise whole words based upon visual aspect and topographic point no accent on letter-sound relationships ( Lemons & A ; Fuchs, 2010 ) .
DS kids have a high involvement in societal interaction and bask chances to collaborate, portion and learn with other people. They besides have high emotional demands and necessitate four times every bit much positive feedback as other pupils do ( Down syndrome WA, 2009 ) .
Deductions of these Shared Characteristics for Literacy Instruction
DS kids are sensitive to failure and deficiency consolidation schemes when larning. For this ground, Buckley and Bird ( 1993 ) recommend that instructors minimise pupil failure ; instructors can make this by to a great extent scaffolding them through each measure of a new reading or composing undertaking until they can finish it without the instructor ‘s intercession. Buckley and Bird highlight that DS pupils experience considerable trouble rectifying errors, much more so than other kids, so forestalling errors happening in the first topographic point is of import in the early phases of new acquisition, particularly with script.
There are really strong links between DS pupils talking, reading and composing accomplishments. As mentioned, DS pupils learn to read best by larning sight-words instead than concentrating on letter-sound relationships to decrypt them. This impacts on the manner that instructors teach DS kids to read as it is non the same manner that they will learn the remainder of their mainstream pupils ( Buckley & A ; Bird, 1993 ) . As DS pupils are larning sight-words, instructors should promote them to correctly articulate them every bit good ; these two accomplishments interact with and inform each other so that the kid grows to understand the significances of words. The instruction and acquisition of composing straight links to speech and reading, excessively. Because DS pupils have small cognition of sentence structure, larning to compose utilizing common linguistic communication constructions influences how they begin to talk ; fundamentally, they learn the construction of sentences through acquisition to compose them and so get down to mime this construction when they are talking ( Buckley & A ; Bird ) .
Although the usual attack to reading and composing for DS kids is through sight-words cognition, it is possible for them to larn letter-sound relationships ; instructors can help this by indicating out letter-sound correspondences in words that pupils already know good and pulling their attending to onset and rhyme within that word ( Buckley & A ; Bird, 1993 ) .
Because DS kids do non follow auditory instructions good, instructors need to show information/directions/explanations/instructions in a ocular manner. Farrell and Elkers ( 1994 ) highlight that DS pupils prefer print because the ocular message does non melt away like a verbal message does. Kirijian, Myers and Charland ( 2007 ) reference that the instructor ‘s informed choice of literacy stuffs can maintain DS pupils engaged on the content for well longer periods of clip than they would be the instance if they were utilizing regular schoolroom stuffs.
As DS kids have trouble with cognitive development, musculus tone and all right motor accomplishments, they find reading and composing undertakings more palling than others in their category do ; instructors need to be cognizant of this and give them smaller sums of work to finish or let short interruptions during lengthier activities ( Down syndrome Ireland, 2011 ) .
Differentiated Direction for Teaching Down Syndrome Children Writing
Before any authorship can take topographic point, instructors need to guarantee that their DS pupils have their organic structures supported in an unsloped place so they are non using energy seeking to keep an unsloped place because of their hapless musculus tone. Because all right motor accomplishments are ill developed, DS pupils ‘ handwriting direction can be adapted to holding the kid following letters in the air or on a flaxen surface with a finger, instead than doing them pull with a pencil on paper like other pupils. Once they have a strong tweezer clasp, the instructor can scaffold script by utilizing a highlighter to organize letters which the DS kid can follow over ; this will necessitate to be done many times before the kid is able to copy it, himself. It is of import that instructors ne’er assign the script to pattern and walk off to look into on other pupils because if the DS pupil makes a whole row of wrong letters, he is larning bad wonts that will be really hard to rectify. During these composing lessons, a feel good factor is critical for DS pupils to larn so it is better for them to merely compose 3 letters during this clip and have the lesson coating with them happy than for them to hold to compose more and stop up detesting authorship clip ( Down Syndrome WA, 2009 ) .
During the existent authorship activities, instructors frequently need to back up DS pupils with both the formation of thoughts and so scribing them ; this is frequently done through joint building of texts by the pupil and instructor ( Moni & A ; Jobling, 2000 ) . As mentioned antecedently, instructors need to promote DS pupils to joint their thought as they read and write. To promote this, the instructor acts as a Scribe by composing down the pupil ‘s thoughts for him. Next, the instructor and child return turns physically composing the bill of exchange together ; this is done to avoid weariness in the pupil and assist him to accomplish something that would be beyond his ability if working unaided. By co-constructing texts, the instructor is besides patterning the thought processes required for authorship ; these texts can so be used for future reading pattern as it has significance for them. Another manner that instructors ‘ can distinguish composing for DS pupils is to promote them to utilize a word processor to type up their co-constructed bill of exchange ; during this exercising, the instructor can cut down the scaffold by taking herself from the pupil and giving him a opportunity to work independently ( Moni & A ; Jobling, 2000 ) .
Differentiated Direction for Teaching Down Syndrome Children Reading
For the DS pupil, instructors need to make single reading ends and undertakings that are much simpler than those set for the remainder of the category. When larning to read, DS pupils require considerable more repeat to solidify larning than their mainstream equals do ( Jordan, Miller & A ; Riley, 2011 ) . By instructors uniting repeat of an activity with stuffs aimed at the DS kid ‘s ocular acquisition penchant, they are able to capitalize on run intoing both these demands in one spell. As pronunciation of sight-words is an issue for DS kids, instructors need to pattern this at the same clip that larning the word is happening.
In several respects, DS kids learn to read in an opposite manner to mainstream students. DS kids learn the whole word foremost and attach significance to it at the same clip, whereas other pupils will utilize letter-sound correspondences to read the word and so use intending to it through sentence context. Once DS kids know a word, the instructor can construct on this by offering phonics direction utilizing that word, ab initio sectioning it into onset and rime and finally placing letter-phoneme relationships if the kid is able to.
DS kids struggle with comprehension as their grammar and sentence structure cognition is ill developed or non-existent ( Buckley & A ; Bird, 1993 ) . To get the better of this, instructors can do simple books based on the kid ‘s ain experiences and write sentences with the kid ‘s spoken linguistic communication demands in head so that he is reading words, phrases and sentences aimed towards assisting him to speak with greater lucidity ( Buckley & A ; Bird ) . DS kids require little ‘bite sized ‘ reading undertakings instead than the 1s typically given to other pupils ; this enables them to experience a sense of accomplishment and stop the lesson on the all of import positive note.
Because DS kids have high societal demands, instructors can integrate them into group and equal activities to increase larning chances accomplishments ( Snowling, Nash & A ; Henderson, 2010 ) . Teachers can besides offer reading support to DS pupils by supplying modeling of reading as equals read a text aloud whilst the DS pupil tracks the print in his ain book ; the same text can be repeated by several pupils as the repeat is of import for larning to happen. A similar affect can be achieved by utilizing engineering such as computing machine programmes that read aloud while pupils follow the text on screen.
How Parents and Professionals can be Involved in a Literacy larning Partnership
Due to the demands of learning DS kids literacy, instructors have terrible restraints placed on their clip as one-to-one direction is the most effectual manner of learning them. As such, it is necessary that the instructor receives help from a teacher adjutant or voluntary so that she can give attending to the other pupils in her category. The monetary value of holding an inclusive schoolroom is that particular demands pupils place force per unit area on the instructor. To get by with this, the instructor needs to garner together a support squad that can portion these demands and work hand in glove to learn the DS kid. With respects to literacy acquisition, it is of import that this school-based support squad works closely with the DS kid ‘s parents so that school and place literacy events are aligned and concentrating on a specific result. When DS kids are larning a specific reading accomplishment, instructors or specializers can teach parents how to reenforce this same acquisition at place ( Snowling, Nask & A ; Henderson, 2010 ) . For illustration, Snowling et Al. province that parents frequently fail to inquire higher-level inquiries during reading activities with their DS kids ; as such, instructors can offer specific direction to parents on how to make this, likewise for onset/rime cleavage and phonological consciousness direction. This attack ensures that the kid is n’t being instructed in two perchance counter-productive ways.
Regular meetings and conferences between learning staff and parents should be held to measure advancement and program for following measure larning. These meetings besides give both parties an chance to discourse any concerns and maintain each other informed about other facets of the kid ‘s life, such as health/emotional province etc, which may hold an impact on larning ability.
Teaching DS kids is non a simple undertaking. They bring a combination of demands into the schoolroom which if separately broken down would each supply a challenge for the instructor to suit. The first measure to learning DS pupils is cognizing the issues that they face when larning to read, compose and talk ; these issues are both cognitive and physical and have deductions for how schoolroom instruction and acquisition is accomplished. DS pupils do n’t larn the same manner as mainstream pupils do ; they require really heavy staging and advancement really easy when developing literacy accomplishments. However, single instructors are non entirely in this undertaking ; they have the support of other professionals and the kid ‘s parents, and jointly this group provides the kid with the emotional, physical, and academic support needed to go an active and valued member of both the schoolroom and wider society.