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Standardized test battery to aid those with Down syndrome
Date:1/12/2009

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"Luckily, we're based in Tucson, where there is a substantial Hispanic population. A number of students working on the project speak both English and Spanish fluently, so they were able to help us navigate testing kids who come from Spanish-speaking families. So we've been able to jump that hurdle," Nadel said.

Nadel and his group are now establishing contacts with colleagues in Barcelona, Spain. One of his students is going to do her study-abroad semester in Argentina and will look into what is happening there. The family of another student runs a home for kids with developmental disabilities in Indonesia.

"There are cultural differences in how people with developmental disabilities are treated. But worldwide Down is emerging from the closet and kids are being mainstreamed and treated as educable and worth doing something for. That's happened over the last 20 or so years as a function of what we're learning about it."

Nadel said the test battery is near completion, likely in 2009, after a year and a half in development and presentations at meetings. A journal article is near as well.

"We're pretty much there, and should have a finished product that we will be happy to share with others doing the same thing around the world who want to use this standardized approach. People are pretty much waiting on us to finish."

Standardized tests, he said, will also aid other researchers working on drug treatments and other kinds of early stimulation, especially for clinical trials that require before-and-after comparisons.

Nadel also has found popular support from the parents of children with Down syndrome. The research testing was developed so that the children would enjoy it. There are boring parts, but Nadel said they try to work around those.

"The parents in Tucson and Denver and wherever I've worked with these groups are enormously positive and cooperative about the work. Most of our research is fr
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Contact: Lynn Nadel
nadel@email.arizona.edu
520-621-7447
University of Arizona
Source:Eurekalert

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