Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Communication Sciences and Disorders

Document Type



Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition in the United States. In the United States, about one of every 700 babies is diagnosed with Down syndrome. The purpose of this study was to assess pre-existing data on a 13-year-old male with a diagnosis of Down syndrome to contribute to research on this chromosomal abnormality. The individual received speech and language related services at Western Kentucky University beginning in 2007. Through analysis of previously collected data, the researcher created a qualitative case review that identified the progress of an individual with Down syndrome and emphasized what attributed to his progress. The purpose of this qualitative case review was to investigate the inclusion of motivators, use of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and engagement in hippotherapy sessions using an AAC device. The inclusion of motivators in therapy sessions, use of AAC, and engagement in hippotherapy sessions were expected to increase the client's communication abilities. Through analysis of previously recorded therapeutic treatments, the investigator concluded a qualitative case review.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Janice Smith, Ph.D., CCC/SLP


Special Education and Teaching | Speech Pathology and Audiology