Speech and Language Services
LETS Go! Speech and Language Service offers highly specialist speech and language assessments and therapy for children with Down syndrome from babies to 18 years.
Individual assessment – LETS Go! offers an assessment service for children with Down syndrome. This service includes some formal and informal assessment of the child using a range of assessment methods including some standardised measures. This assessment is carried out alongside discussion with parents and/or school to determine the individual child’s speech and language profile and identify the main areas of need. A written report on the assessment findings and recommendations of therapy targets is provided to share with relevant other professionals/organisations to inform intervention/education/practice.
Speech and language therapy services consist of targets covering the relevant 4 domains of speech and language development; communication, speech, receptive vocabulary and language and expressive vocabulary and language. Children with Down syndrome typically have a profile of relative strength in receptive vocabulary compared to other areas of speech and language development. However, all children with Down syndrome have their own individual strengths and areas of need. The therapy approaches used are adapted to the learning profile associated with Down syndrome and may include some intervention programmes/resources developed specifically for children with Down syndrome.
Following initial assessment, individual targets and a therapy programme is developed. These target areas may include:
• Communication - pre-linguistic skills (e.g. eye-contact, joint attention, non-verbal communication, gesture use), total communication, turn taking, sharing, co-operation, attention and listening skills, requesting, initiating, use of context, maintaining topic, following conversational rules, pragmatic skills, understanding jokes and idioms, making and maintaining friendships.
• Speech – listening and discrimination skills, production of symbolic sounds, single sounds, sound combinations, use of sounds in words, connected speech, syllable marking, intonation, rate and stress, fluency, intelligibility and clarity.
• Receptive vocabulary and language – understanding of single vocabulary words covering a range of syntactic categories including nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, time and quantity. In line with the development of the child and their vocabulary, language targets would be incorporated into the session and include; following longer key word phrases using a variety of constructions (e.g. action-object, object-possession, agent-action-object), understanding grammatical markers (e.g. ‘ed’ past tense marker, plural ‘s’).
• Expressive vocabulary and grammar - as receptive targets are achieved, expressive targets following this same pattern of development would be covered; focussing on single vocabulary word production (including spoken words and sign) covering a range of syntactic categories. Expressive language targets would be incorporated into the session including multi word utterances and the use of more complex sentence structures including the use of grammatical markers (e.g. ‘ed’ past tense marker, plural ‘s’).
Language Intervention Project:
Alongside the work of LETS Go! Becky is currently conducting a research project for her PhD at University College London into the expressive language skills of children with Down syndrome as this is reported to be a specific area of difficulty for this population. As part of this project, Becky has developed and evaluated a language intervention specifically for children with Down syndrome targeting the use of regular simple past tense.
Read more here . . .