Down syndrome is the single most common form of genetically-based mental retardation. The syndrome occurs when the fetal cell development process creates an extra chromosome, resulting in abnormalities in physical and neurological developments. While a definitive diagnosis of Down syndrome must be carried out at the chromosomal level, there are many physical traits and attributes that, taken together, can lead to a probable identification of the syndrome. The physical characteristics alone are great, including short, broad hands and feet, slanting eyes, flattened nose appearance, small, low-set ears, small head, small mouth and oral cavity, and a short neck.
Children and adults with Down syndrome occupy a broad spectrum of functionality. The earlier that a positive diagnosis is made, the sooner that parents can begin using all available resources to engage the child in structured activities that have been designed to expand cognitive, social, emotional, and intellectual capacity. In recent years, a number of studies have gauged the most effective instructional environments and techniques that can be used to foster learning and meaningful interaction among students with Down syndrome.
Teachers who have students in their classrooms have a great responsibility to help these children learn. Here are some things that can take place in the classroom: Inclusion: Students with special needs should be full members of age appropriate inclusion classes. Effective inclusion means that the teacher must be fully supportive of the model. The strategies the teachers use to reach and teach the Down syndrome students will often be beneficial to many learners in the classroom. The inclusion environment is less likely to stigmatize and provide a much more natural environment for the students. Another important factor is the child’s Self Esteem: The physical characteristics of a Down syndrome student often results in a lowered self-esteem...