Madison and her Siblings: Accelerated Development of a Child with Down Syndrome
Researchers have found that young children seem to learn faster by imitating and emulating behaviors of older siblings (Barr & Hayne, 2003). Madison was born with Down Syndrome (DS) and was the youngest of six children. Data for this study were gathered through observations in school and at home, by reviewing relevant artifacts and interviewing Madison’s mother and service providers. Madison’s first word was “mom” at 15 months of age, which is about three months later than the typically developing child. Madison’s gross motor skills were at almost the same level as those of a typically developing child, and only a month or two behind those of her siblings. Madison’s five siblings made every effort to include her in as many activities as possible, and Madison seemed to enjoy all the play and other physical as well as verbal interactions with them. Analysis of her IEPs and other documents showed that Madison was developing physically and cognitively at an unusually accelerated rate when compared to same-age peers with DS. Based on her Individualized Education Plans, Madison had made significant gains between the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years.
Keywords: Developmental Disabilities, School and Family Collaboration
Prof. Poonam C. Dev
Associate Professor, School of Education, Nazareth College of Rochester
Affiliation not supplied