Communication and Language Interventions for Children With Down Syndrome

Steven F. Warren, Shelley L. Bredin-Oja, Laura J. Hahn, Nancy Brady

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Delayed and disordered speech and language development are among the primary challenges for young children with Down syndrome. Common sources of these delays include frequent ear infections and fluctuating hearing loss early in life, significant oral motor impairments, and delayed onset of joint attention and related cognitive skills. This chapter is focused on the early childhood period up to 8 years of age because most of the intervention research has been conducted during this period. The review is limited to two types of intervention: milieu teaching (MT) and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) because much of the published research has focused on these two approaches. The review reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the research to date. Four directions for future research are proposed, most importantly combining MT and AAC approaches in a single flexible model of early communication and language intervention for young children with DS.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Down Syndrome and Development
EditorsJacob A. Burack, Jamie O. Edgin, Leonard Abbeduto
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780190645441
StatePublished - Jun 8 2020


  • Down syndrome
  • randomized controlled trials
  • single-subject designs
  • parenting
  • milieu teaching
  • augmentative communication
  • language development
  • early communication


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