Children and adults with Down syndrome vary widely in their interest and achievements in number skills and mathematics. There is only a small amount of research in the area and little that provides guidance for effective teaching methods and materials. Typically, the achievements of individuals with Down syndrome in number are at a lower level than their achievements in literacy. Research findings indicate that good teaching, using their visual learning strengths, promotes learning and that children with Down syndrome follow the same stages of progression as typically developing children, although often with more steps and practice needed at each stage. (Down Syndrome Education International)
Basic number skills, such as knowing how to count and solve simple arithmetic problems, are essential for everyday independent living. It is clear that arithmetic and number skills are areas of particular difficulty for individuals with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome in mainstream schools have better attainments in arithmetic than those in special schools.
This paper discusses the use of Numicon number teaching materials with children with Down syndrome. The theory underlying the design of the materials is discussed, the teaching approach and methodology are described and evidence supporting effectiveness is outlined.
Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City
5960 Dearborn Street, Suite 100
Mission, KS 66202