Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic alteration responsible for intellectual disability, which refers to deficits in both intellectual and adaptive functioning. According to this, individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) reach developmental milestones (e.g., sitting, walking, and babbling) in the same order as their typically developing peers, but later in life. Since developmental milestones are the first blocks on which development builds, the aims of the current study are to: (i) expand the knowledge of developmental milestone acquisition; and (ii) explore the relationship between developmental milestone acquisition and later development. For this purpose 105 children/adolescents with DS were involved in this study, divided in two groups, Preschoolers (n = 39) and School-age participants (n = 66). Information on the age of acquisition of Sitting, Walking, Babbling, and Sphincter Control was collected, together with cognitive, motor, and adaptive functioning. Sitting predicted later motor development, but, with age, it became less important in predicting motor development in everyday life. Babbling predicted later language development in older children. Finally, Sphincter Control emerged as the strongest predictor of motor, cognitive, language, and adaptive skills, with its role being more evident with increasing age. Our data suggest that the age of reaching the milestones considered in the study has an influence on successive development, a role that can be due to common neural substrates, the environment, and the developmental cascade effect.

Is the Age of Developmental Milestones a Predictor for Future Development in Down Syndrome?

Sara Onnivello;Francesca Pulina;Chiara Marcolin;Renzo Vianello;Enrico Toffalini;Silvia Lanfranchi
2021

Abstract

Down Syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic alteration responsible for intellectual disability, which refers to deficits in both intellectual and adaptive functioning. According to this, individuals with Down Syndrome (DS) reach developmental milestones (e.g., sitting, walking, and babbling) in the same order as their typically developing peers, but later in life. Since developmental milestones are the first blocks on which development builds, the aims of the current study are to: (i) expand the knowledge of developmental milestone acquisition; and (ii) explore the relationship between developmental milestone acquisition and later development. For this purpose 105 children/adolescents with DS were involved in this study, divided in two groups, Preschoolers (n = 39) and School-age participants (n = 66). Information on the age of acquisition of Sitting, Walking, Babbling, and Sphincter Control was collected, together with cognitive, motor, and adaptive functioning. Sitting predicted later motor development, but, with age, it became less important in predicting motor development in everyday life. Babbling predicted later language development in older children. Finally, Sphincter Control emerged as the strongest predictor of motor, cognitive, language, and adaptive skills, with its role being more evident with increasing age. Our data suggest that the age of reaching the milestones considered in the study has an influence on successive development, a role that can be due to common neural substrates, the environment, and the developmental cascade effect.
2021
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3391112
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