Author(s): Girolametto L, Weitzman E, ClementsBaartman J
This study explores the effects of training parents to use focused stimulation to teach specific target words to their toddlers with Down syndrome. Twelve mothers and their preschool-age children were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Vocabulary targets were individually selected for each child based on the child's phonetic repertoire and parent report of vocabulary development. Mothers were taught to use the targets while following the child's lead in terms of topic and activity. Following treatment, mothers in the experimental group used the focused stimulation technique more often than did mothers in the control group. Concomitantly, their children used more targets as determined by parental report and free-play interaction. Mothers did not reduce their complexity or their rate of interaction, nor did the children demonstrate generalization of their targets in a semistructured probe. The implications of these results are discussed with regard to the role of focused stimulation intervention for children with Down syndrome.