About Down's Syndrome : Early language intervention for infants with Down’s syndrome

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Previous research from members of our team found that responding to joint attention at 18-21 months (following the point/ focus of another person) significantly predicted language at 30-35 months. The intervention focuses on improving responding to joint attention at 18-21 months in the hope of improving language at 30-35 months.

The intervention will last for 10 weeks and will involve participants visiting the University of Reading once per week for the researcher to administer an intervention session and parents will also be given short activities to practice at home.

After the intervention has finished participants will be required to visit the University of Reading again so that the pre-tests can be re-administered. Their joint attention will then be assessed when they are 24-29 months and a final language assessment will be completed when they are aged between 30-35 months.

The language and joint attention scores will be compared to a cohort of children who were followed longitudinally and did not receive this intervention.

The project is funded by the Economic Social Research Council.

If you have a child with Down syndrome who is 18-21 months and you are interested in taking part please use the contact information below.

NB: Due to the amount of weekly travel involved this would suit somebody who lives within a 50 mile radius of Reading. We may be able to offer some home visits within this radius.


Emily Seager is a PhD student at the University of Reading. Prior to her PhD Emily has worked on various projects assessing language using screening measures for preschool children.

Dr. Vesna Stojanovik is an Associate Professor at the University of Reading. Vesna’s research focuses on the linguistic abilities of individuals with Williams syndrome and those with Down’s syndrome.

Prof Courtney Norbury is based at Royal Holloway University London. She is a speech and language therapist and she does research on language and communication development and impairment in children with developmental disorders.

You can download further information here.

Contact details

Emily Seager  E.seager@pgr.reading.ac.uk

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