Bilingualism in children with Down syndrome

As children with Down syndrome have challenges with language acquisition, concerns have been raised about the capacity of these children to be bilingual. In this study, we explored the language profiles of Welsh-English bilingual children, alongside children with Down syndrome only exposed to English.

Results show that bilingualism did not impact expressive and receptive language abilities or phonological awareness. Language impairments were evident for the children with Down syndrome compared to typically developing children. In summary, the study found that exposure to more than one language had no negative impact on language outcomes for the children in this study.

Dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and Autism

Research shows that a substantial proportion of children with Down syndrome (DS) also meet the clinical criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Children with this dual diagnosis display a linguistic profile that includes significant language delays and language impairments. This study aimed to identify the language profiles of four children with this dual diagnosis who were bilingual in Welsh and English, alongside three control groups.

Findings demonstrate that children with both Down syndrome and Autism can become functional bilinguals, and the children under study were developing their language abilities in line with the degree of exposure to each language.

Raising awareness of alcohol-related brain damage

Alcohol-related brain damage (ARBD) is an umbrella term referring to the neurocognitive impairments caused by excessive and prolonged alcohol use and the associated nutritional deficiencies. This study aimed to evaluate an online research-informed training programme for ARBD.

Over 880 staff members were enrolled in the programme and took part in this mixed-methods study. Findings showed that the training programme was effective in improving support staff's ability to identify ARBD, potentially leading an increase in signposting service users to relevant services.

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