Tips on Teaching Children with Down Syndrome

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Tips on Teaching Children with Down Syndrome

The first thing you must take note about teaching a child with Down syndrome is the fact that every child with Down syndrome is unique. What works for one child may not be what will work for the other child. However, there are general tips that can help you better teach a child with Down syndrome.

  • You must first of all believe in the success of the child. If you do not believe that the child can learn anything, then you will not succeed. If you are teaching a child and doubting, you might end up losing your moral. The child might never learn anything from you and the problem will be with you and not with the child.
  • Your venue must be carefully selected. You must teach the child in an environment where the child will not be faced with distractions. Ideally, it is advisable that you keep the child away from the window so that the child is not distracted by his environment.
  • As already mentioned, each child with Down syndrome is unique. You have to measure the abilities of the child and draw an individual activity plan for the child with goals that are measurable.
  • Avoid mixing a child with Down syndrome in a crowd of children. If possible, a one-on–one approach will be more advisable
  • Break down tasks you give the child as much as possible and allow the child several opportunities to respond. Remember that you have to be very patient with the child because the child is not learning at the rate at which other children will learn
  • Always be ready to improvise when teaching the child. If one method of teaching is not working, use another method. If the child cannot write well with a pen, try to see if the child can type on a computer.
  • Always ask the child to repeat what he hears. Repetition plants the facts better into the mind of the child.
  • Use charts, pictures or other practical teaching aids that are easy to remember.
  • Do not mix up many objects in a lesson because the different types of objects can serve as a source of distraction for the child. The child might be more concentrated on the different types of objects rather than on the lesson itself. That goes same with colors. Do not mix up many colors in the lesson aid, unless the lesson was involved with teaching the children about colors.
  • Make sure you give direct instructions to the child. Do not assume that there are things that the child will naturally understand. If it is break time, you say it out so that the child can hear.
  • While teaching the child, do not rebuke the child directly. If the child with Down syndrome makes an error, avoid telling the child directly that he is wrong. It is preferable that you simply ask the child to try again or you can give the correct response to the question.

As already stated, each child with Down syndrome is unique and has his or her own strong points. You need to know the child before you can set up goals and objectives for the child. Be ready to repeat what you teach several times and above all, be patient.


Nfon Mark Benyou