Intellectual Disability – Down’s syndrome

Intellectual Disability – Down’s syndrome




Intellectual Disability – Down’s Syndrome

Much of the knowledge regarding the behavior of individuals with disabilities is received considerably from research studies that involve participants with an unstipulated intellectual disability. It is imperative to focus on particular forms of intellectual incapacities due to the effects that such information may offer especially in terms of applying evidence-based practices within an education platform. In this respect, the focus of the discourse is inclined towards Down’s syndrome. Contrary to mainstream perspectives, persons that have Down’s syndrome exhibit less negative implications in comparison to children that possess exceptionalities such as autism-specific disorders (Blacher & McIntyre, 2006). Nonetheless, in relation to inclusion, children with Down’s syndrome require more attention with respect to their school environment due to cultural differences and research concerns that relate to specific factors such as ethnicity, culture, language, and socio-economic factors, which pose an effect on early childhood development. Engagement in the respective discourse provides a platform that enables teachers to implement evidence-based practices aimed at working with children with Down’s syndrome in an inclusive educative environment.

It is imperative to consider the cultural disparities that students with Down’s syndrome may exhibit with respect to the school setting they occupy. The implementation of culturally responsive practices ensures that the school environment attains the capability to address the demands of persons from diverse communities respectfully and skillfully. Apart from the difficulties imposed by children with the respective exceptionality, teachers may also encounter concerns derived from possible cultural backgrounds that are surprisingly different (Lalvani, 2015). For instance, different cultures possess disparate perspectives of exceptionalities and normally resort to different approaches aimed at treating the affected children (Lalvani, 2015). In an interview of mothers from a triad of disparate cultural backgrounds, a study discovered that the respective participants differed significantly in the responses they initiated upon the diagnosis of the respective exceptionality (Gatford, 2001). Additionally, the mothers were unwilling to engage in active discourses with their spouses to avert arguments and sustain family balance and harmony hence illustrating the differences in terms of how Down’s syndrome is managed across disparate cultures (Gatford, 2001).

The findings of the mentioned research study clearly illustrate the extent to which cultural perspectives can affect the measures and approaches that families apply in respect to particular exceptionalities such as Down’s syndrome. As such, the concerns lie in the ability of the instructors to provide a fair and inclusive environment that caters to the needs of the student in question without interfering with the cultural beliefs and perspectives of the student’s family (Lalvani, 2015). Research encompassing Down’s syndrome among children and early childhood development is further influenced by certain factors that affect the capability of the school environment, especially the instructors, to engage in appropriate evidence-based practices based on the respective exceptionality (Blacher & McIntyre, 2006). Accordingly, a significant amount of research is centered on behavioral disorders (Blacher & McIntyre, 2006). However, significant studies on the exceptionality in question have been documented regarding language issues. Accordingly, it has been asserted that majority of persons who have Down’s syndrome experience mild to grave degrees of intellectual incapacities, including impairments in language (Lanfranchi, Jerman, Pont, Alberti, & Vianello, 2010).

The inclination of research towards the correlation between the exceptionality and language difficulties establishes opportunities aimed at the establishment of proper instructive approaches or evidence-based practices that will benefit children with Down’s syndrome. By recognizing such incapacities, effective teaching strategies can be formulated that will allow the respective individuals to experience impartial education within an inclusive environment (Ainscow & Sandill, 2010). Foremost, in relation to language impairments, teachers may depend on the application of strong and visual modalities of learning. Teaching students with Down’s syndrome on reading may be defined by a predisposed emphasis on the significance of visual learning, which may involve demonstrations, illustrations, and pictures (Campbell, Gilmore, & Cuskelly, 2003). The application of visual learning may be used successfully in the provision of effective instruction. Still on language impairments, instructors can place more emphasis on teaching phonics as well as enabling phonological awareness. In addition to this, instructors can engage in the implementation of peer collaboration, which may be effective in the facilitation of social networks and friendships. For the tactic to function beneficially, instructors must ensure that they provide the children with support, active preparation, and facilitation.

To this end, students with exceptionalities tend to undergo a plethora of challenges that usually arise from their interaction with the environment in question. Students with Down’s syndrome may find it difficult to experience things or processes due to the impairments posed by their conditions. Despite this, it is still possible to provide the affected persons with facets that may assist them considerably. For instance, it would be imperative for instructors to consider the importance of cultural relevance. This is because of the different approaches that families utilize to address the children’s exceptionalities. In this respect, teachers and instructors may establish a school environment that is culturally aware and responsive to the students’ needs and demands. However, while the focus on culture may be significant, it would be more reasonable to focus on including the student with the respective exceptionality fairly with other students.



Ainscow, M., & Sandill, A. (2010). Developing inclusive education systems: The role of organizational cultures and leadership. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14(1), 1–16.

Blacher, J., & McIntyre, L. L. (2006). Syndrome specificity and behavioral disorders in young adults with intellectual disability: Cultural differences in family impact. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 50, 184-198.

Campbell, J., Gilmore, L., & Cuskelly, M. (2003). Changing student teachers’ attitudes towards disability and inclusion. Journal of Intellectual & Developmental Disability, 28(4), 369-379

Gatford, A. (2001). Down’s syndrome: Experiences of mothers from different cultures. British

Journal of Nursing, 10(18), 1193-1199.

Lalvani, P. (2015). Disability, stigma, and otherness: Perspectives of parents and teachers. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 62(4), 379-393.

Lanfranchi, S., Jerman, O., Pont, D. E., Alberti, A., & Vianello, R. (2010). Executive function in adolescents with Down syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54(4), 308-319.

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