Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Speech-Language Pathology

First Reader

Dr. Nancy Hardman

Second Reader

Professor Carol Morgan

Third Reader

Dr. Allyson Phillips

Abstract

According to recent studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in every 700 babies born is diagnosed with Down syndrome, resulting in almost 6,000 babies diagnosed in the U.S. every year. Down syndrome, also referred to as DS, comes with some physical and mental differences. Because of these differences, individuals with Down syndrome and their families face many challenges when communicating, and these challenges affect all aspects of life. An increased awareness and knowledge could hopefully and effectively address some of these communication challenges for patients with whom the speech-language pathology profession may work with in the future. Through interviewing five families who have a child with Down syndrome and looking at background research, first-hand knowledge was gained regarding these challenges and how one can help toward alleviating them. These interviews revealed the true difficulties these individuals and families face and the way they perceive they are viewed by society. By using this information, the hope is that professionals and other individuals can aim to better include and help people with Down syndrome succeed in all situations.

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