Down Syndrome (DS) is due
abnormalities on chromosome 21 and it the most common cause of intellectual
disability (Janier, Shafie, Taha & Mohamad, 2013) the cognitive profile of
this syndrome is characterized by a relative weakness in verbal abilities, while
visuo-spartial skills seem to be relatively preserved (Dykens,Hodapp,&
Finucane 2009) It is not an illness or disease, and occurs at conception. It
occurs in one of every 700 to 900 births worldwide and affects people of all
ethnic and social backgrounds (Down syndrome Victoria, 2009). One in every 800
babies born has Down syndrome or around 1,875 cases a year in the Philippines
in a population of 1.5 million live births. This was revealed by the Down
syndrome association of the Philippines Inc. saying that more than 100,000
families in the country are living with a person with Down Syndrome (DSAPI,
Children with Down Syndrome,
like neuro typical children, are growing up with extensive exposure to computer
technology. Most of the software games and websites that the children with Down
Syndrome interact with are designed without consideration of their special
needs, making the application less effective or completely inaccessible (Feng
and Lazar, 2010).
Children and adults with Down syndrome
vary widely I their interest and achievements in number skills and mathematics.
Typically, the achievements of individuals with Down syndrome in number are at
a lower level than their achievements in literacy. Research findings indicate
that good teaching, using their visual learning strengths, promotes learning
and those children with Down Syndrome follow the same stages of progression as
typically developing children, although often with more steps and practice
needed at each stage (Bird, 2014).
With the advancement of
technology, the learning style of special children has been improved from time
to time from the paper and pen method (Feng,2010), to the use of computer
application such as courseware to the latest technology such as mobile
application in smart phones and tablets(Ahmad, Muddin, & Shafie, 2014). The
main goal of this study is to design and develop a tool that will help the
teachers and parents of Ds Children in teaching basic numeracy skills and to
evaluate the user perception on the developed mobile application.
need customized learning numbers due to their slower pace of learning.
Unfortunately, there is a limited theory to guide DS children to learn and
master in mathematics. The study aims to provide an appropriate computer
application for those children who have Down syndrome. There are tons of
computer applications on the internet but some of them are not providing the
needs of Down syndrome children when it comes in learning numeracy. The use of
computer becomes very important in educational process for all students
including special need students. With the use of technology, Down syndrome
children can enjoy and can be an interesting way to learn numbers. Some studies
shown that there are some negative aspects of the old math curriculum (the
traditional method) which lacks the elements of motivation and lack of
technology assistance in performing missions of educating and teaching either
as teachers or educators.
Through visual presentation and with
the use of computer application that the researcher will develop, DS children
can enjoy and learn more easily compared to old math curriculum (the
traditional method). Also computer application can be a key to help Ds children
to cope and enhance their numeracy skills. Computer application will be the way
to help Ds children to be more competitive and be also a part of the industry
and adopt the changes in the emerging technology era.