ForeWord Reviews

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Helping Children with Down Syndrome Communicate Better

Speech and Language Skills for Ages 6-14

Foreword Review

“There is no one ‘Down syndrome profile’ when it comes to communication skills,” espouses author Libby Kumin in this sequel to Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome. Part of the Topics in Down Syndrome series, this guide for parents and professionals offers an overview of the breadth of speech and language difficulties, and continues with a discussion of speech-language evaluation and eligibility, and ends with what children will typically work on while in therapy with a pathologist.

Kumin believes that “language is part of daily living and is best practiced during real life.” She suggests teamwork between the family, speech-language pathologist, and teacher. To build up this team, she provides strategies for classroom teachers, such as modifications that help students with Down syndrome follow spoken instructions or feel included in conversations. For families, the author presents a wealth of home activities which go beyond traditional therapy lessons.

A professor in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology/Audiology at Loyola University where she founded the Down Syndrome Center for Ex-cellence, Kumin draws on over twenty years of experience working with babies, children, adolescents, and adults with Down syndrome, along with pa-tients’ families. This leading expert has also written Classroom Language Skills for Children with Down Syndrome and produced What Did You Say? DVD: A Guide to Speech Intelligibility in People with Down Syndrome.

Integrating the latest research, technology, and therapies in speech-language therapy, Kumin adds to this practical and invaluable handbook with quick lists, sample worksheets, evaluations, reports, surveys, and an extensive “Resource Guide” with related organizations and Web sites. Also effective are eye-catching photographs of children with Down syndrome at school, at home, and in the community. Although her information is authoritative, the text is easy to read and the author’s tone is always encouraging and supportive. Kumin’s “10 Tips for Nurturing Your Child’s Communication Skills” should become a mantra for all families and professionals working with children with Down syndrome. If help-ing these children communicate better is the goal, then this book is the guiding path.