Daniel is a 9 year old little boy diagnosed with Down Syndrome and some behaviors characteristic of Pervasive Developmental Disorder. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that causes global delays in development, often including difficulties with stability and motor planning for speech production. These children typically have low muscle tone, decreased coordination of musculature and sensory deficits (difficulty integrating the information they receive from their senses). Daniel communicates through the use of signs and gestures, some picture symbols and a limited number of intelligible true words. Initially, Daniel presented with significant difficulty grading and controlling movements of his jaw. Severe lateral sliding of his jaw during speech and non–speech actions contributed to the asymmetry of his facial musculature and difficulty achieving control of his labial–facial and lingual movements.
Daniel received intensive intervention services since he was 2 months of age, focusing on his motor, tone and strength issues. However, as of February 2008, his verbal communication skills were limited to the use of two true words. Daniel has responded extremely well to the use of PROMPT therapy to develop speech motor control at the levels of tone, phonation and mandibular control. Tactile input has assisted Daniel in developing increased stability and symmetrical positioning of his jaw, facilitating improved production labial–facial and lingual phonemes. PROMPT therapy has also provided more information about the structure of syllables and words, allowing him to experience success in communicating orally with improved accuracy and consistency Daniel's increased use of functional words has contributed to improved language development and social interaction skills.
Children with Genetic Syndrome
Daniel (Down Syndrome)... is a child in whom the tactual modality is a powerful resource in the development of his cognitive, social interaction and speech production skills.
One session at a time, Danielís PROMPT clinician, Stephanie, has diligently used resource allocation to help Daniel maintain postural support, focus attention on his jaw stability and muscle movements for speech production, and use his words or approximations to achieve improved functional communication in his everyday life.