Down syndrome is characterized by a genetic disorder of the 21 chromosome and is the most common cause of mental deficits. There are several different causes for the syndrome and not all affected persons present the same symptoms. The sole common characteristic is the mental deficit. Among the clinical findings there are speech-language disorders and the children with Down syndrome may present suction and swallowing difficulties in the first days of life. Other disorders may include impairments in symbolic play and in cognitive development; auditory perception disorders may result from deformities in the middle and external ear. Speech-language disorders may affect any language system (phonology, semantics, syntax, morphology and pragmatics. Pragmatic assessment includes linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of communication. Its development involves the association between linguistic, cognitive and social development that can be observed in interpersonal communication. Therefore pragmatic assessment is of utmost importance because it reveals the child's communicative abilities. Few studies have focused on the analysis of pragmatic abilities of children with Down syndrome. This study aims to use a language observation schedule with the pragmatic perspective in two different moments of early development, between 18 and 36 months. The purpose is to verify of this schedule is useful in identifying differences among children with the same age and their development.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: