Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Down Syndrome: Helping Your Child Learn to Communicate
Down syndrome usually have delayed speech and language
development. Typically, these children have a much harder time learning to talk
(expressive language) than with understanding what they hear (receptive
language). On average, children with Down syndrome start using words around 16
months of age—about 6 months later than other children.
Children with Down syndrome are often taught sign language to
enhance communication and bridge the gap between expressive language and
receptive language. Although some parents worry that using sign language will
interfere with their child's speech development, evidence suggests that the
reverse is true. Sign language gradually decreases as speech abilities develop.
Simple measures can help your baby to develop speech and language
speech therapist can provide specific suggestions
based on your child's abilities. Usually, this includes detailed information
for a home program to help your child practice speaking.
July 1, 2013
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital.