"Kumin provides a wealth of research on proven language acquisition strategies, but it's her warmth and insight that makes the book truly stand out. Although her work can (and should) be used by professionals, she speaks most directly to parents, and does an admirable job of providing both intellectual rigor and emotional support.
She gently emphasizes that there are many sensory, perceptual, physical, and cognitive problems that can occur with Down syndrome, each affecting the development of communication skills. Addressing a child's unique challenges is crucial to overcoming these issues as much as possible, and Kumin acts as expert advisor to parents, giving them encouragement and comfort in addition to practical strategies. The result is an authoritative, friendly guide that should prove to be a well-loved resource for anyone who wants to help children with Down syndrome be heard and understood."
"Parents of babies and young children, you are lucky to have this resource!"
-Sue Joe, Affiliate Relations Director, National Down Syndrome Congress
"Early Communication Skills for Children with Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, 3rd Edition presents authoritative information on the communication issues of children with Down syndrome. Libby Kumin, Ph.D, CCC-SLP has worked with families for over thirty years. Her book....is designed to explain speech and language characteristics so that we foster good communication skills at home, in school and in the community.
Dr. Kumin's writing style is straightforward. She touts the huge advantage of experiencing family life, stating that she is 'amazed at how far we have come in the past thirty-five years.' Dr. Kumin mentions the delight of seeing pictures of kids with Down syndrome with their softball teams, as members of wedding parties, and as participants in school plays. She brings this normalization attitude into her explanations of how best to support kids in developing their communication skills.
The strength of this book is the layout. Dr. Kumin's explanations are summarized in easy-to-read boxes. Practical advice and clear definitions appear in tables. Beyond the layout, Dr. Kumin approaches her topic in a friendly, you-can-do-this manner. She tells us that her suggested activities are not so much different with how we interact with children who do not have Down syndrome. The timetable is different, but the language games and teaching techniques are often the same."
-CAPHIS Consumer Connections
"Libby Kumin has given parents of children with Down syndrome a great resource for encouraging speech development with this most recent edition of Early Communication Skills in Children with Down Syndrome. The book provides good factual information about communication development from birth to age six with plenty of suggestions for at-home activities. Kumin explicitly details what to expect and what not to expect, which is helpful for parents who understand that most children with DS will experience some communication challenges along the way.
This edition includes expanded information on the needs of kids with childhood apraxia of speech, dual diagnosis of DS and autism, updated terminology, information on special education law, as well as more about the benefits of technology and augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).
The book is thorough, practical and affirming--and filled with adorable photos, too!"
-Down Syndrome News, Volume 35, #5
"Kumin tells parents that what they teach their child is the same as is taught to a typically developing child; however if may need be introduced later more slowly and with more repetition. She encourages through daily experiences and fun rather approaching it as practice. There are wonderful suggestions for activities and a reference section on children’s books. Total communication with the use of sign language and augmentative and alternative communication are strongly recommended and thoroughly covered.
Early Communication Skills for Children With Down Syndrome covers a wealth of information. Some parents may want this much information. For others the language and detail may be too much. The need for parents to be advocates for their child and see themselves as a member of the team is emphasized. The book gives the positive message that a person with Down syndrome can improve throughout a lifetime when offered opportunities stimulation and experiences. As an occupational therapist. I received a comprehensive overview of speech-language pathology that will strengthen my role as a team member and enable me to develop treatment plans that complement the speech-language pathologist’s program."
-Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 81 (1)
"Libby Kumin has given us an immense gift that will be unwrapped and appreciated again and again! Dr. Kumin's research-based guide offers countless activities, practical strategies, and meaningful resources on how to facilitate, develop, and improve early communication skills for children with Down syndrome. This thoughtful book does more than teach us about speech-language; it motivates us to work collaboratively to break down barriers so that children with Down syndrome are heard and understood!"
-Rosalie Forster, M.Ed.
Education Resource Specialist, Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress (MDSC)