The profile of social functioning in children with Down syndrome

In July, our article "The profile of social functioning in children with Down syndrome" written by Kari-Anne B. Næss, Egil Nygaard, Johanne Ostad, Anne Stine Dolva and Solveig-Alma Halaas Lyster was published. It has already received several reds and it seems to interest international researchers. However, this article also has important implications to the field of practise by emphasize the importance of early stimulation of language and social functioning among children with Down syndrome. Below you can read the abstract for the article:
Background: Practitioners and researchers have asserted for decades that social functioning is a strength in children with Down syndrome (DS). Nevertheless, some studies have concluded that children with DS may be at greater risk of impaired social functioning compared to typically developing controls. This cross-sectional study explores the profile of social functioning (social capabilities and social problems) in six-year-old children with DS, compares it with that of typically developing children and reveals possible differences in predictors between groups.
Method: Parental reports and clinical tests were utilized.
Results: The children with DS had generally weaker social capabilities compared to nonverbal mental age-matched controls, but no significant differences were found for social interactive play, community functioning and prosocial behaviour. No significant differences in predictors for social capabilities between the groups were found. The children with DS had more social problems than the typically developing controls with a similar chronological age and those with a similar nonverbal mental age, but no significant differences in emotional symptoms were found between the children with DS and either comparison group. Vocabulary was a more important predictor of social problems in the children with DS than in the typically developing control groups.
Conclusion: Interventions for children with DS should strongly focus on integrating vocabulary skills and social functioning starting at an early age.

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