Down Syndrome Children In School
These Down syndrome teaching tips can be implemented in both small and large classroom environments, depending on a student's placement as determined by the IEP team:
--Teachers can benefit greatly from learning about the specific challenges faced by a Down syndrome student prior to the start of the school year. The child will be accompanied by a trained aide when participating in a mainstream classroom, and both the aide and the child's parents can provide a teacher with helpful information.
--Because children with Down syndrome are prone to distraction and easily frustrated by lengthy instructions, teachers should be certain that the student is seated toward the front of the classroom in an area that is free from clutter and potential diversions. In-class and homework assignments will need to be modified according to the child's academic abilities, and tasks should be broken down into small steps that the student can understand clearly.
--Teachers should encourage inclusion by providing Down syndrome children with statements of positive reinforcement whenever appropriate. These children should be treated in the same manner as the other students in the classroom and never made to feel stigmatized as a result of their physical or cognitive differences.
--Children with Down syndrome will often receive additional supports from speech and language therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists during the school day. Teachers should communicate regularly with members of support staff so that they can be fully informed of a student's progress and individual IEP goals.