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Perhaps you have already learned to do exercises to strengthen the muscles of the lips, tongue and jaw; or you have resorted to practicing (through rehearsals or scripts) the communication situations in which you know your child is going to find himself, or to give him clues and directions, according to the needs. And surely you have learned to use the strength of your child’s visual skills to help him in his learning.

And it is very possible that you already worked with a speech therapist when the child was in early intervention or preschool. Most children with Down syndrome continue to need the services of a speech therapist in the early years of elementary school, and many continue to use these services in their first decade and beyond.

Children with Down syndrome have risk factors that make speech and language more difficult for them. Speech therapy is essential for most of them, as it manages to maximize their communication skills. Speech therapy (also called speech therapy) is the specialized assessment and treatment of communication, language, and speech difficulties. A good speech therapy program for a child with Down syndrome will:

d) use best practices – methods that have already been used successfully with other children -;

e) educate and include your family, so that the practice becomes part of daily life and is not limited to speech therapy sessions.

The speech therapist possesses the professional knowledge necessary to help the child acquire and perfect their communication skills. However, family (including siblings and other relatives), teachers, special education professionals, occupational and physical therapists, friends, and community members will also need to be involved so that the child’s communication become a success. Language is part of everyday life and has to be practiced and reinforced as part of everyday life. Although the child has to learn the skills in speech therapy sessions, the practice of communication has to continue in real life: This is what matters.

Unfortunately, in most schools parents rarely or never observe speech therapy sessions. They are based on the speech therapist’s reports, which may only come to you once a year.


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