Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Roy Thurston

Second Advisor

Joe M. Blackbourn

Third Advisor

James Payne

Relational Format



This paper will look at the issues of cognitive and communication development in children with Down Syndrome. With recent advances in neuroscience, educators need to understand brain development in order to utilize methods in dealing with education problems that occur with this population. Therefore this paper will look at the Down Syndrome child in both a physiological and educational context, to better understand appropriate methods of intervention. Moreover, brain development and learning involves not only genetic content specific to each individual, but also the many paths laid out by the family, environment, social and educational needs. As they move through the first months of life, which is the time when neurons grow and connect with each other under the impulse of stimuli comes streaming in through the sensory organs. Their brain grows less, there are fewer neurons in some parts, and neurons establish less synaptic connections because of the fewer alterations in dendrite spines and axonal extensions that take longer (Bullock, Bennett, Johnston, Josephson, Marder, Fields, 2005). Although their neurons may have problems to develop and establish their connections, they may need to be surrounded by different stimuli, although we see that their development is slower. Early intervention in cognitive development provides strong stimuli, consistent, and appropriate to the needs of each child and is rich in content, well thought out and directed, because it involves the different stimuli and as well as the family to help to increase these children's' skill to succeed in life.


Special Education



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.