News and Events

Quiz: Down Syndrome I

This is the first of our Talk and Total quizzes on the subject of Down syndrome and how it relates to child development. To browse through all of our quizzes on this topic and others, visit our Quiz Page: Browse our other quizzes.
Continue reading “Quiz: Down Syndrome I”

App Review: First Phrases

Our article Technology Use for Children with Down Syndrome: The iPad was so popular, we have decided to expand upon it with a series of app review articles that will allow us to focus on some of the apps we find most-useful here at Talk and Total. Our first article in the series will focus on an app called First Phrases. Continue reading “App Review: First Phrases”

Talk and Total has Partnered with Dawn Evans to Offer Tutoring Services

We have big news for our community. Talk and Total Communication Services has partnered with Dawn Evans to offer individualized tutoring services and instruction for students with special needs, regular education, home schooling, or early education.
Dawn Evans is an experienced elementary education teacher, special education teacher, and early childhood specialist who loves to work with children. You can learn more about her on our Staff of Talk and Total page.
If you would like more information regarding our new tutoring services, please feel free to Contact Us, or give us a call at 919-484-0012.

Jane Ball Interviewed for Garner TV

Long-time Talk and Total parent, Jane Ball, was interviewed for Garner TV’s program, Around Town.  Produced monthly for the Town of Garner NC, the show airs on Garner’s Channel 11, on their website at, and also from their YouTube channel.
March’s edition featured the interview with Ball. The interview, conducted by Mayor Ronnie Williams, allowed Ball to speak about much of her experiences in raising a child with Down syndrome. For many years, her daughter, Caroline, has been coming to Talk and Total Communication. Continue reading “Jane Ball Interviewed for Garner TV”

Civitan Club Shows Appreciation for Special-Education Teachers

Dr. Layton recently spoke at the Garner Civitan Club, regarding the special-education needs of children in China.
The Garner Civitan Club holds an annual dinner honoring the special-education teachers of the Garner, NC area schools. This year’s event featured not only Dr. Layton’s talk, but also a talk given by Talk and Total parent, Jane Ball.
Ball, whose daughter is a client at Talk and Total, discussed some of her experiences with raising a child with Down syndrome. Ball and her family have established the Caroline Ball Family Fund to help raise awareness for individuals with Down Syndrome.
You can read more about the event in this article written for the Garner Cleveland Record. You can also learn more about the Caroline Ball Family Fund by clicking here.

Connecting "Families to Families" in China

The YangAi Parent Club Guangzhou, China, invited a family with a Down syndrome child to visit and meet with families and professionals at their center. The YangAi Parent Club is attempting to connect families to families. Therefore, they invited the Ball family: Douglas, Jane and daughter, Caroline, to visit their center. Plans are underway to invite a Chinese family with a Down syndrome child to visit North Carolina sometime next fall. In addition, I was invited to present a workshop on Down Syndrome: Education and Communication to the YangAi Parent Club families. Along with my colleague, Dr. Grace Hao, we have a long-standing relationship with the YangAi Parent Club. The Parent Club is helping to standardize Dr. Hao and my Chinese version of their Developmental Scale for Children with Down Syndrome. The Club is also assisting in several other research investigations with Dr. Hao and myself. Either Dr. Hao or I travel annually to China to assist families and professionals with family needs.
Following is a letter written by Jane Ball, recollecting her family’s experience in Guangzhou, China. Continue reading “Connecting "Families to Families" in China”

Children with Down Syndrome: Communication Issues

I wanted to share an article I wrote about communication issues among children with Down syndrome. It was originally published in the TDSN Newsletter, and it is available on their web site at
This article discusses the speech, hearing, and language behaviors in these young children. It also discusses several intervention approaches that are useful for improving speech, language, and literacy. I hope you find it helpful. Continue reading “Children with Down Syndrome: Communication Issues”

What is the Learning Process?

How do children learn? I have discussed it some in the article, Working with Down Syndrome: Q&A. Now I would like to describe this process further, and how it applies to children with Down syndrome. More of our treatment procedures are also included. Continue reading “What is the Learning Process?”

Working with Down Syndrome: Q&A

Often we are asked questions about how we provide treatment for children with Down syndrome.  The following is a series of questions and answers to help families, professionals, and educators regarding our approach to working with these children. Continue reading “Working with Down Syndrome: Q&A”

Ask the Expert: Executive Function and Children with Down Syndrome

Note: This article originally appeared in the July/August 2011 issue of TDSN News.
In the last Newsletter, we introduced play-behaviors and their relationship to cognitive-language development in children with Down syndrome. In this article, we want to expand this concept by introducing a related cognitive function called Executive Function. Although this may appear to be an ominous term, it really is not. Continue reading “Ask the Expert: Executive Function and Children with Down Syndrome”