Dr. Vanegas, in collaboration with a PI from Baylor University (Megan Flores), will investigate the interaction between language/communication and motor skills in infants with Down Syndrome (DS). This study will address several gaps in our understanding of DS. First, they will implement multiple methods, including technology, to measure language and motor development across direct assessments, naturalistic measurements, parent reports, and free play observations. Second, they intend to actively recruit and enroll over 60% of participants from racially/ethnically minoritized backgrounds. Finally, they will collect longitudinal data to track measures that may be sensitive to developmental change.

The project plans to recruit 36 infants with DS (age 6 months to 18 months) and 36 typically developing infants (age 6 months to 18 months). Infants will be followed for a 12-month time period. The goal is to measure language, communication, motor skills, and physical activity to better understand how these skills develop and interact with each other over time. Infants and their caregivers will complete standardized questionnaires and assessments at study entry, then two more times, 6 months apart, for a total of three assessments in a 12-month period of time. This research will provide critical data on the early development of racially/ethnically diverse infants with DS to inform intervention strategies and supports.