All Theses, Dissertations, and Capstone Projects

Year of Award



Master of Science (MS)


College of Education & Allied Health


Communication Disorders and Deaf Education

First Advisor

Sherry Howard


speech, task, trisomy, deficient, articulation, articulatory ability


One of the most common congenital disorders occurring in the newborn is the phenomenon of Mongolian or Down's Syndrome. It occurs more frequently than any other specific kind of mental deficiency, or any other malformation in early development such as cleft lip or clubfoot. On the average, one in 640 babies has Down's Syndrome (Smith and Wilson, 1973). Due to the high incidence of Down's Syndrome in the population, it can safely be assumed that there is also a high incidence of Down's Syndrome children in our special schools and mental institutions. Because of their genetic abnormality, the development of Down's Syndrome children is affected in many ways. Their developmental difficulties range from physical and motor incoordination, to mental, speech and language deficiencies. As stated by Fishier (1975), the area of slowest progress in Down's Syndrome children has been in the area of language development. In this area, Down's Syndrome children often lag significantly in comparison to normal children. It also should be noted that the articulatory performance of Down's Syndrome retarded persons is exceptionally poor. They have a higher incidence of articulation disorders than any other mentally deficient group, and their spontaneous articulatory abilities lag behind their other language skills, (Blanchard, 1964). In light of this information, one can see the desperate need of these children to have their overall communication skills improved. However, there is little information in regards to the mental processes that affect language and speech perception. Therefore, it is the intent of this research to further investigate the mental processes affecting speech perception.

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