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Social - pragmatic skills of children with Down syndrome

Anamarie Svetec (2016) Social - pragmatic skills of children with Down syndrome. MSc thesis.

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    The theoretical grounds have covered discoveries, learned through different literature, about characteristics of communication, speech and language of children with Down syndrome. It describes causes in children with Down syndrome that have an impact on the slower development of these elements. We are clarifying the concepts of pragmatics and socio-pragmatic skill that are in Slovenian-speaking territory much less explained and described. In the following section we describe the characteristics of children with Down syndrome in this field and guidelines that encourage the development of pragmatics and socio-pragmatic skills. In children with Down syndrome, there are many sensory, perceptive, physical and cognitive characteristics that influence the development of their communication skills. In the literature we read that pragmatic skills of children with Down syndrome are well developed and that the use of language for social purposes is their area of strength. However, their cognitive abilities are restricted by the ability of communication, questioning and understanding, and thus between the second and fifth year of life they have problems in these three areas. In children with Down syndrome, strong as well as weak areas in the area of pragmatics can be found. Also, studies carried out in this field indicate a non-uniformity of the profile. On the one hand, the studies indicate that in comparison with children of the same mental age, there are no differences in the number of exchanges in the interaction between mother and child within the same topic. On the other hand, studies show that children with Down syndrome used fewer requirements, but in comparison with children of the same mental age, differences in the use of answers, comments and objections have not been observed. In the empirical part, we used the questionnaire Assessment scale for socio-pragmatic skills to assess the level of assertiveness and responsiveness in children with Down syndrome, aged from nine to forty-two months. Development of socio-pragmatic skills was analysed according to four age groups of children: age 9–18 months, age 19–24 months, age 25–36 months, and age 37–42 months. In comparison with children with typical development, we compared the level of assertiveness and responsiveness according to the gender of a child with Down syndrome and analysed the achieved level of assertiveness and responsiveness of children with Down syndrome. The results of assessment scales, which were filled in by parents of children with Down syndrome, were compared with the results of assessment scales that were filled in by professionals who work with their children. The results showed that there is no statistically significant difference between the level of responsiveness and the level of assertiveness by specific age groups of children with Down syndrome. We found that according to gender statistically significant difference in assertiveness and responsiveness does not exist. Despite the fact that children with Down syndrome, in comparison with children of typical development, achieve lower results in all subscales of responsiveness and assertiveness, statistically significant difference was shown only in subscale "Asking". Parents have assessed the child's skills higher than professionals; however, averages do not differ significantly.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: communication, Down syndrome, pragmatics, social-pragmatic skills
    Number of Pages: 72
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    doc. dr. Martina OzbičMentor
    asist. dr. Damjana KogovšekComentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11137097)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 3669
    Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2016 11:44
    Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 11:44
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/3669

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