Teaching Strategies

Children with Down syndrome have particular strengths and weaknesses associated with their learning development :


  • They are visual learners.
  • They understand a lot more than they can say.
  • They are able to follow classroom rules and routines.
  • They will need help to remember instructions eg shorter phrases or visual clues.
  • They have the same feelings as any other child.
  • Teacher expectations of behaviour, attitude and ability need to remain high.

For more specific information on teaching strategies read our Education Packs.


DSWA hold professional development days for teachers and education assistants, usually early in Term One of each school year.  Please check our Training and Consultancy page for more information.


Articles and Information

Teaching Students with Down Syndrome by Carol Johnson

Students with Intellectual Disability : A Resource Guide for Teachers

Responsive Teaching : Early Intervention for Children with Down Syndrome and Other Disabilities

Education Support Pack for Mainstream Schools

Motivation and Learning Styles in Young Children with Down Syndrome by Jennifer Wishart

Teaching Numeracy by Sue Buckley



Bird, Gillian, Sandy Alton and Cecilie Mackinnon  Accessing the Curriculum - Strategies for Differentiation for Pupils With Down Syndrome 

Clark Road Money Programs

Department of Education and Training  Count Us In! Curriculum Support Package [kit]

Down Syndrome Education Trust  Development and Education for Children with Down Syndrome (5-11 years) [Teacher and Parent Packs]

Down Syndrome Society of South Australia  Spell to Write [kit]

                                                             Guidelines for Junior Primary and Primary Schools

                                                             Guidelines for Middle and Secondary Schools

Hanson, Marci  Teaching Your Down's Syndrome Infant 

Horstmeier, DeAnna  Teaching Math to People with Down Syndrome and Other Hands On Learners. Book 1

Janney, Rachel and Martha E. Snell  Modifying Schoolwork

Kumin, Libby  Classroom Language Skills for Children with Down Syndrome : A Guide for Parents and Teachers

Lorenz, Stephanie  Children with Down's Syndrome : A Guide for Teachers and Learning Support Assistants in Mainstream Primary and Secondary Schools

Sandall, Susan R and Ilene S Schwartz  Building Blocks for Teaching Preschoolers with Special Needs



Down Syndrome Information Series  www.cdss.ca

Down Syndrome Education International  www.down-syndrome.org/