Speech & Language

Early Intervention for Your Child with Down Syndrome

Recently I’ve met families whose children were limited or denied early intervention services because of a diagnosis of Down syndrome (not here in Cincinnati). This is extremely concerning to me as a speech language pathologist. The foundation for good communication is being set during these formative years.

For this reason I created a bibliography containing journal articles supporting early intervention in children with Down syndrome. I’ve encouraged my patient’s families to share this with reluctant IFSP teams. Services for children are being cut because of funding, but they should not be eliminated based on the diagnosis of Down syndrome. 

Each State has its own guidelines surrounding early intervention and I encourage you to look into these. For Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky the links are here:

Ohio Help Me Grow

Kentucky First Steps

Indiana First Steps

Google early intervention and your State to locate information about Federally mandated early intervention services in your area.

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4 thoughts on “Early Intervention for Your Child with Down Syndrome”

  1. GREAT to “meet” you too. Met you through Melissa from BBC.
    Olivia is 13 months old with Ds. She gets EI services since she was three months old, BUT just PT. I should be getting OT within the next month or so. As for SLP, nope, zip, nada, so we’ve been paying out of pocket for it weekly. Basically oral-motor therapy to encourage mouth closure which is NO easy feat. She doesn’t really have tongue thrust, but I sure do feel like we’re fighting gravity with the open mouth. ARGH! Looking forward to reading your blog!

  2. We were eligible for EI for Josh when we lived in Ohio (he was born there) but he was put on the wait-list until he was 6 months old for PT and finally received his first OT visit at 8 months. He was allotted 9 PT and 9 OT visits per year – no speech. We moved to Michigan just after Josh’s 1st birthday and the difference in services was phenomenal. (By the way, the moment they knew we were moving, they stopped services and signed Josh out of their system – with more than a month to go!)

    In our part of Michigan, EI was run through the school district. Josh and I attended EI “classes” together twice a week at a local elementary school where he had PT, OT, and ST as well as a resource teacher. There were 4 other children in the class (one other with Ds).

    There was so much more to the experience than can be told here. I was just so grateful that we moved! Josh is 7 now and in second grade and is still receiving a wonderful education.

  3. Cathy, It’s nice to meet you too. Since I see only children with Down syndrome – from our region and across the country – I get to hear about many different EI experiences, positive and negative. Thankfully there have only been a few situations like the one I’ve discussed – and
    I am so glad to hear that Lily is able to get EI services.

    Thanks for your feedback and check back often!
    Jennifer

  4. Hi! I found your blog through Melissa. Nice to “meet” you. I’m looking forward to following your blog. My daugher, Lily, is 23 months old and has been in speech therapy for quite a while.

    Here in Illinois, a diagnosis of Ds automatically qualifies for EI.

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