We are looking for guidance on how to help our child with Down Syndrome at home. She has moderate to severe cognitive impairments, and we’d like to use software with her to help build skills but don’t know where to look.
Children with Down Syndrome, as with other children, both with and without disabilities, are unique, and will learn and develop at their own rate. There is unlikely to be a “one-size-fits-all” software solution for your child. For example, some students with Down Syndrome may struggle with distractibility and need a quiet place to work, away from possible disruptions. For other students, this may not be an issue.
There are likely several technology tools supports that will be helpful for your child as they learn new skills and move forward in her education. Modeling , concrete visual and symbolic representations of information, and multiple opportunities for practice and reinforcement may all be beneficial for learners with Down Syndrome. Potentially challenging areas in education for children with Down Syndrome include math, reading and writing, speech and language, memory, social development, or motor skills.
Your child may have difficulties with all of these areas or may only experience significant difficulties in a few areas. Determining what his or her needs are is the first step to finding the appropriate technology supports for your child.
Many children with cognitive impairments learn best when they can see the material in the form of videos, modeling, or another type of visual presentation. You should look for educational technology tools that break down the skill or skill being learned into small, concrete chunks and that allow the student to go at their own pace. Investigating Free Software for Children with Down Syndrome can give you a brief overview of the types of software tools available and what areas of need they may address. Also explore some of tools for students using the Tech Matrix , or Understood.org’s Tech Finder .
Other good resources for information on supportive software tools are local and national organizations for individuals with Down Syndrome. These organizations included:
- National Down Syndrome Society
- Down Syndrome Education USA
- Down Syndrome Information Alliance
- Association for Children with Down Syndrome