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Down Syndrome and Attention Deficit Disorder

ABSTRACT

Background of the study: children with down syndrome were traditionally excluded from the society because they were mentally retarded and had a number of health problems (Weill.& Kay). However, children with down syndrome cannot be excluded from the contemporary society and should have access to education as other people do. In such a situation, educators may face a problem of teaching children with down syndrome effectively because they may suffer from attention deficit disorder that accompanies the development of mentally retarded children with down syndrome.

Purpose of the study: the study focuses on the development of children with down syndrome and specificities of their education to find out whether children with down syndrome are vulnerable to the development of attention deficit disorder and differences in educating children with down syndrome and attention deficit compared to other children.

Method of the study: the current study involves two methods. First, interviews were conducted involving two groups of subjects. The first group consisted of subjects with down syndrome and the second group was the control group consisting of children, who did not have mental health problems, neither down syndrome nor attention deficit. In addition, interviews involved educators and parents of children to identify the major trends in their behavior and possible attention deficit in children with down syndrome. The second method was the observation of children with down syndrome to compare children with down syndrome to other children.

Results: the study is supposed to reveal the possible existence of attention deficit in children with down syndrome and significant differences in the development and education of children with down syndrome compared to other children.

Conclusion: Down syndrome affects consistently education and social behavior of children and increases the risk of the development of attention deficit disorder. Children with down syndrome and attention deficit disorder have special needs but they should be integrated in the classroom environment.

INTRODUCTION

Children with down syndrome often face the problem of exclusion from the society, while traditional services, which are available to other children, are not always available to children with down syndrome. For instance, education was often unavailable to children with down syndrome because they were considered to be mentally retarded. Nevertheless, as studies (Howell) revealed the potential of children with mental health problems, children with down syndrome got larger opportunities to receive education. However, along with the access to education, they revealed new problems, such as the attention deficit disorder. At any rate, some researchers (Howell) argue that down syndrome increases the risk of attention deficit disorder, although children with down syndrome and attention deficit disorder may exhibit better academic results in the higher school compared to other children. In such a context, it is important to conduct the study to reveal possible correlation between down syndrome and attention deficit disorder. The revelation of such correlation can help educators to find effective approaches to teaching children with down syndrome and attention deficit disorder.

Obviously, children with down syndrome and attention deficit disorder have special needs compared to other children and educators should take these special needs into consideration while working with these children. In such a way, they can increase the effectiveness of education and facilitate the education of children with down syndrome and attention deficit disorder. Anyway, children with down syndrome and attention deficit disorder have to be included in the education process.