SpeecH/Language development in Children with Down Syndrome

1 out of 830 children are born with Down syndrome which means approximately 23,000 – 29,000 children are affected with Down syndrome symptoms every year in India. Isn’t it a lot!! Numbers show India has the highest number of children suffering from Down syndrome. Every child is different and special in their own way, just like a growing flower. Just like everyone else, children with Down syndrome have diverse pathways to take. The development of speech and language is a significant journey for these incredible children. When it comes to communicating, children with Down syndrome frequently have particular difficulties. We’ll look at few of the typical speech and language issues these kids could have in this blog.

Down syndrome symptoms: Difficultie in Speech and Language

1. Limited Vocabulary :

Children with Down syndrome symptoms may face difficulties because of their limited language. Thus, compared to other children their age, they know fewer words. They may find it more difficult to communicate and comprehend what other people are saying as a result.

2. Clarity of Speech :

Children with Down syndrome can experience difficulty speaking clearly. Their mouth and tongue muscles differ, which could make their utterances more difficult to interpret. They can enhance their speech clarity with speech therapy.

Also, check Speech Therapy Fun exercises for Clear speech

3. Struggle with Grammar :

It may also be difficult for kids with Down syndrome symptoms to string words together to construct complete sentences using correct syntax. They might use simpler language or make grammatical errors.

4. Unable to express :

These kids aren’t able to strongly express themselves with clarity due to difficulty at the choice of words and putting them in a sequential manner. For them, sign language can be helpful.

Techniques to improve Speech and Language

1. Talk frequently :

Even if your kid can’t answer much yet, talk to them frequently. Make use of basic phrases and words. Say, for instance, “Hello! What’s up with you today? This will help your child to gradually create deeper understanding about the language and further help him/her for speech development.

2. Keep an Active Ear :

Even if what your child is trying to communicate is unclear, listen to them out. React to them and urge them to speak. Say, “Oh, you want the toy? “, for instance, if they point at a toy. Let’s play with it!” This will give them a push to express themselves by making best use of language.

Also, check Hearing Aids & Speech Development

3. Use Gestures more :

Make meaning-giving gestures with your hands and facial expressions. Say “yes” by nodding your head or waving “bye-bye” as you go. This will help them in developing a clear understanding of what do the gestures signify or mean.

4. Repeat and Reinforce :

Frequently repeat words and phrases. Learning benefits from repetition. Say “ball” while you’re playing with a ball, for example. This will help in developing a clear understanding about various things.

5. Speech Therapy :

Seek the assistance of a speech therapist who specialises in providing services to children with Down syndrome. They enhance speech with enjoyable exercises. The oral motor exercises helps in strengthening the muscles of the mouth thereby aiding in Speech development.

Also, Check Online Home Therapy Course for Speech

6. Visual Aids :

Display objects or pictures in addition to the text. This aids in their understanding of the meaning of words. For example, display a picture of a dog and say “dog.”

Also, check 7 Engaging Activities for kids with Down syndrome

How Nutrition play an important role?

Along with these techniques, a healthy diet can help improve cognitive function and foster improved communication and learning abilities. Let’s look at some types of foods that can help.

1. Nuts

Children who bite and chew more fibrous sources of protein, such as nuts, have stronger jaws and are less likely to experience bite problems. Apart from that all the nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashew, peanuts and hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and help in boosting memory. They are also antioxidants which protect against cell damage. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are also a valuable substance for brain function, memory and thinking abilities. It helps in improving oral motor skills and speech development.

Also check, Other benefits of nuts and seeds.

2. Seeds

Seeds like flax, chia, melon, sesame and pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds impact overall mood and mental processing powers and therefore it is considered a brain boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and also higher in zinc than other seeds. They also help in increasing concentration and memory. Healthy brain can effectively help in improving oral motor skills and speech development.

Also, check Omega-3 rich foods for kids

 3. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It can help in reducing anxiety and stress. Moreover, it increases acetylcholine levels which support better memory, mental focus and intelligence. Ashwagandha also improves communication between nerve cells and stimulates the body’s capacity to heal any nervous system damage. For general nourishment and renewal, ashwagandha is typically eaten with ghee and honey (in equal parts), which serve as anupans (a medium for delivering herbs deeper into the tissues).

4. Brahmi 

Brahmi is a superfood for the brain. It helps in sharpening the brain by protecting cells and also increases the chemicals associated with learning and memory. It has shown to improve spatial learning and retaining power in kids. Kids in the olden times were often given Brahmi powder with ghee/honey. This would increase their focus and attention while keeping them calm and distressed. It helps in improving the oral motor skills and speech development. The most notable advantage of brahmi is that it enhances cognitive abilities and also stimulates the mind to increase focus and memory. Bacopa, taken twice daily at a dose of 300 mg, was found to improve test results related to cognitive function after six weeks of regular treatment.


 5. Shankhapushpi

Shankhapushpi is a traditional remedy for increasing the functioning of the brain. The powerful antioxidants and also the flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness and alertness of an individual. Because it is a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhapushpi have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities.

 6. Cocoa Powder

Pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) contains brain boosting components as it is packed with a large number of antioxidants molecules, the main is epicatechin helpful to improve cognition and speech impairment in studies. Hence cocoa powder is also an important brain development food for children. This may significantly help out in easily building up the oral motor skills.


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