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Infant exploration and childhood action planning in children with Down syndrome


Children with Down syndrome (DS) are predisposed to delays across domains of development and there is a dearth of information on longitudinal associations across early childhood that would help to characterize skill acquisition. Executive functions (EFs) are the thinking and problem-solving skills that direct behavior to achieve goals. Planning is a subconstruct of EF that is an area of relative challenge for children with DS in middle childhood and adolescence. This investigation examined the foundations of planning in DS between infant exploration behavior and emerging childhood planning. METHODS: Forty-six children with DS and their parents participated in two waves of data collection. Infants' first visit was held between 9 and 17 months (M = 12.76 months; SD = 2.16) for Wave 1 and the second research visit was when children were 3 to 7 years old (M = 5.03 years; SD = 0.80) for Wave 2. RESULTS: No significant predictive link was found between infant exploration and early childhood planning. No significant findings emerged between biomedical status and childhood planning. CONCLUSION: Results of this investigation did not identify a predictive link between infancy and early childhood planning. The current study was among the first longitudinal analyses examining development in early childhood for children with DS. Future work should further characterize the heterogeneity observed in children with DS to tailor intervention supports to emerging planning skills.


Includes bibliographical references.
2023 Fall.

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Down syndrome
executive function
early childhood


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