Five Ways Assistive Technology Helps Students With Down Syndrome

Down syndrome students have cognitive delays. When their brain sends them a message to finish a task, their brains reacts slowly. They take longer to complete tasks than their peers who are not disabled. Federal legislation mandates that students with learning disabilities be educated in the exact same way (and often in the same classrooms as other students). This has led to a need to modify and provide tools for special needs students to help them achieve their educational goals.

Assistive technology to Down syndrome is a brand new way to assist special needs children in school. This includes any equipment or materials that can enhance learning and make tasks easier, such as scissors with a spring or enlarged graphics.

Here are five areas in which assistive technology can be used to assist Down syndrome children in their classrooms.

Cognitive skills

Down syndrome can cause delays in processing information or completing tasks. It is important to assess the work that special needs students can accomplish in the same time frame as their non-disabled peers.

A worksheet that has 10 problems may be completed by a non-disabled student might only allow a Down syndrome student to complete two problems. Accessible information can be made accessible to students with Down syndrome by using assistive technology. It may be necessary to reduce the number of words or graphics, highlight key words, or increase the lettering and font size so that the information is easy to understand.

Writing skills

Down syndrome children tend to have smaller, slimmer fingers and a lower thumb which makes it more difficult to write. These students may have difficulty holding manipulatives and objects of regular size because some of their wrist bones aren’t formed.

Assistive technology to Down syndrome students have discovered that using slanted desks and a three-ring binder with three rings turned sideways can compensate for their lack of mobility.

They may also find it helpful to have shorter or triangular-shaped pencils.

Cutting skills

Assistive technology has been developed for Down syndrome. This has led to the realization that many children with Down syndrome have difficulty using the scissors in the classroom. Because of their limited hand mobility, opening and closing scissors is not easy for them.

These scissors have springs that allow them to open automatically after they are closed. These scissors are specially designed for Down syndrome children, who are unable to experience the motion from their own experiences.

Tactile possibilities

Every child needs to have the opportunity to touch and feel their hands. Children with Down syndrome need tactile experiences to help them grow and develop. Special needs children can learn in school with assistive technology for Down syndrome.

These suggestions include using Play-Doh to form letters and numbers, or even making shaving cream for them on their desk. For children who are just starting to learn the alphabet, enlarged letters can be used and glue can be used to trace the letters on paper. This is a great way to learn and encourages children to use their pencils to trace the lines.


Children are learning how to use electronic technology and computers at an earlier age. It is equally important that children learn how to use computers and other electronic technology in school.

Smartboards can be found in elementary schools and are a great tool for students with special learning needs. You can create lessons that teach students how to manipulate objects using their fingers. They can also draw lines to connect sounds and words.

Assistive technology, particularly those designed for Down syndrome children, is a valuable asset to schools with special needs students.