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Parenting a child or children with Down Syndrome has its joys and challenges, its rain or shine moments. While many treatments improving skills have emerged, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to treatment. Thus, parents need to learn and find out what to expect. (1)
For this reason, our redaction team will provide you with the following online app as well as physical activities to keep your child’s day enlightened.
Indeed, the following list of apps and activities will help your child with cognitive and educational development as he grows. But first let us define what is Down Syndrome?
What is Down Syndrome?:
- Down syndrome is an inherited disorder present at birth caused by the presence of extra copies of chromosome 21.
- It is a complex disorder affecting the health and development of children.
- The severity of medical and developmental problems experienced by children varies with each case.
Top 5 Online Games :
Our Top List! LetMeTalk is the best app for children with down syndrome thanks to its distinguished features. As the name suggests, LetMeTalk is a free AAC talker app (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) which encourages kids to practice speaking and improve their conversation skills. The app allows users to compose image-based sentences.
Users will enjoy a wide variety of topics as the app owns 9000 pictures from ARASAAC. Moreover, you can Add/Upload your own images and you can carry out the same exercise. Besides, The app provides voice support for images and sentences. Furthermore, LetMeTalk developers have given the app a global feature as users can switch the content to 17 Languages. What we like also in this app is that it can be played offline which makes it accessible at any time, any place.
Gross Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome Mobile Companion :
This unique app is based on Patricia Wenders’s book “Gross Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome”. The app can be a suitable resort for your kid. In fact, it acknowledges the differences between Down syndrome children and typical kids. Moreover, “Gross Motor Skills for Children with Down Syndrome” provides ideas for activities oriented for special kids in order to ensure they reach their full potential such as : Hip Stretch, Back-lying on the floor, Back-lying in your lap etc … Besides, The developers have thought about parents.
In fact, the app encourages users to ignore the heavy burden of baby trackers which will make parents eager to focus on positive results. Accordingly, our app celebrates each achievement and provides users the chance to save all the achievements that others take for granted.
InnerVoice: Communication :
( Download iOS)
Another outstanding AAC app in our app. Recently, users (Young Special kids, Their Parents, Language therapists.) around the world have become familiar with InnerVoice.
Thumb-up for InnerVoice developers for designing a comprehensive and credible app. It helps your child with down syndrome speak with other children, Share his photos with his family, Understand important situations such as crossing the street, getting in a car, and Emote as he/she makes facial expressions on your avatar’s face to show happiness or other emotions. Users can say nothing but “Well Done” in terms of trailing AAC with people with communication difficulties.
InnerVoice has proved to have a smooth usage compared to other AAC alternatives. Users will not face difficulties during the initial set-up. In addition, the visual as well as auditory stimulation is amazing.
It is time to Unleash your child’s inner potential today!
See and Learn Saying Words :
See and Learn teaching programs are designed to help children with Down syndrome learn.
This app helps putting 2 sounds together to say words – three steps – based on the order that initial sounds are usually mastered but used based on individual child’s sounds.
See and Learn aims to assist children with Down Syndrome master early language, reading, speech, number, and memory skills through the early years and into primary school.
Experts have developed evidence-based activities, guidance, and support in order to help Children with Down syndrome improve their numeracy and vocabulary skills. The app focuses on three teaching fields which are: Language and Reading, Speech, See and Learn Numbers. Indeed, The app is easy to use at home and available globally. Such an outstanding word game!
The last app in our exceptional list. Proloquo2Go is also a distinguished Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC) application that offers a voice over assist for persons who face expressive and receptive language difficulties.
From basic wants and needs to more complex sentences, Proloquo2go app is not an effective communication tool for children and adults with Down Syndrome only, but it is suitable also for those who have Autism, cerebral palsy, apraxia, aphasia, or traumatic brain injury. In fact, the app teaches its users how to compose sentences about basic needs as well as how to manage to speak complex sentences.
Proloquo4Text is another app of the same company. This application is a text-based, AAC application which targets literate users.
Overall, this wonderful app stands today as one of the few AAC apps which aids all segments of users, from scratch to an advanced level. Indeed, By a routine practice, children with down syndrome will be allowed to compose single words to full grammatical sentences in the same app and in real life.
Top 5 Physical activities for children with down syndrome:
Hasboro Pie Face
This game offers nothing but sublime fun. This board has simple instructions. For instance, each player spins a little wheel that assigns them the number of times to crank the handle on the game. Afterwards, you sit back and laugh as people get splattered with whipped cream. Aside from the pleasure of the play, This game improves your child’s numeracy skills when he counts the spins. Hasboro Pie Face is undoubtedly our favourite game in this list.
Pop the Pig :
The rule of the game says : Kids whirl the spinner, put a hamburger into the pig’s mouth, then push down the pig’s head. The more they pump, the more his belly grows. In other words, every pump makes his belly grow larger, larger, and larger until…POP! Kids adore the suspense as they watch the pig’s belly expand. However, the player who makes his belly blow up loses the game.
The game can be reset through one pump of the pig’s head and enjoy persistent belly busting game-play all the time.
The game is the exact definition of “Learning through play” as it grants hours of sublime fun and it teaches numbers, colours, and counting. Moreover, Pop the pig is entirely kid-powered as you do not have to use batteries. For added convenience, all pieces can be stored inside the pig.
The game is adored by millions of children, and it is no wonder that it is the second-best selling kids game of the last 5 years.
3. Wow! A New Word (2)
Boost your child’s visual memory strengths through praise in order to enhance self-esteem as well as expressing language.
Our fantastic recommendation is created thanks to Joe and Susan Kotlinski, parents of a daughter with Down syndrome.
The game advises parents to tap a sheet of paper in a distinguished place in the house. Whenever your child expresses a new word, you must stop what you are doing immediately and initiate a celebration by saying “Oh, Great! That’s a new word”. Through this move, your child’s self-esteem will boost. Write the word on the sheet. Then, Print the word in lowercase letters on a card. Afterwards, show the card to your child and say it together loudly at the same time. In the next few days, show your child the card again and repeat it. This will encourage your child to attempt to say new words to add to the list. The more he is motivated, the more expressive he becomes.
We highly recommend you enjoy “Wow! A new word “ game”. A true Bargain!
Rolling is a major activity that consolidates rotation muscles of children with down syndrome. You can motivate your child with down syndrome to practice rolling through toys. The core idea of rolling revolves around gazing to the side and touching down a toy. Thus, you can move the toy to the side in order to encourage them to reach the toy. Indeed, You want to help your kid if they are struggling to succeed in this exercise. All you have to do is hold your child by one leg. Thanks to your gesture, your child is able to move the rest of his/her body himself/herself. We recommend you always follow this sequence to help your child roll. Experts say Practice makes perfect thus you must practice and practice till your kid manages to roll on his/her own.
5. Playing Music
Big News! Regardless of your child’s hand skills, your child can play any musical instrument. Your child can play a musical instrument, no matter what their hand skills are. We will divide this section into three parts :
- The first type of children with down syndrome who have minimal control: they can tap a keyboard or a drum as some way to enjoy some cause and effect.
- The second type is those who can hold onto implements in their hand, they can enjoy a rattle or tambourine, or try and hit a drum with a stick. These will delight your child.
- The final type is for parents who do not have any instruments at home. No worries! You can make our own using everyday objects. A wooden spoon can turn to a drum kit. Besides, a plastic bottle with some rice in it makes a great shaker. This will make your child nothing but super happy.
Some Bonus tips For Parents of Children with down Syndrome :
- Assign your child some chores in the house. Divide the tasks into small steps so that he/she stays focused and does not get distracted . It is worth noting that you must be patient and comprehensive.
- Help your child in completing day-to-day duties on their own
- Telling “That’s wrong” word is intolerable. In order to adjust mistakes, you must refrain from this behaviour if you do so. Instead, say “Try it again! You can do it” and why not offer help if it is needed. (3)
- Allow them to take reasonable risks. This is a challenge every parent faces. You need to protect your child/ Children with down syndrome, but also let them see what they can handle.
- Let them take reasonable and tolerable risks. While your duty is to protect your child, you have also to allow them to explore what they can handle. Such risks include Buying from neighbourhood store , Swimming , cycling etc
- Support them in solving problems, like how to deal with an issue with friends or approach a problem at school.
(1) Harvard Health. 2021. 5 things parents and teachers need to know about ADHD – Harvard Health. [online] Available at: <https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/5-things-parents-and-teachers-need-to-know-about-adhd-2017102712643> [Accessed 4 October 2021].
(2) McGreevey, S., 2021. Functional skills of those with Down syndrome can improve into adulthood. [online] Harvard Gazette. Available at: <https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2019/01/functional-skills-of-those-with-down-syndrome-can-improve-into-adulthood/> [Accessed 3 October 2021].
(3) Harvard Health. 2021. 5 things parents and teachers need to know about ADHD – Harvard Health. [online] Available at: <https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/5-things-parents-and-teachers-need-to-know-about-adhd-2017102712643> [Accessed 4 October 2021].