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Background: I'm looking forward to be a father come fall. My son will have Downs Syndrome, so there are a lot of early interventions we have to think about to support our son - logopedics, augmentative communication and a lot of stuff I don't know about yet.

Of course, with all possible interventions and trainings and whatnot we will look for the track record of said methods. And of course our next years are not supposed to be only about therapy this and special training that!

We are gathering Information on different methods from relevant organizations etc. I want to be able to contextualize what we learn there.

Questions

  • What is a useful framework or model of how cognitive and other abilities develop in young children that can be used to understand their needs (not only the special ones) on a level that is not purely phenomenological?
  • What is a useful framework to understand why certain trainings etc. are effective, in comparison with others?
  • Are there any frameworks suited to an engineer with a basic understanding of neural networks and control theory as opposed to more qualitative psychological theories?

I'd be happy about pointers to texts relevant to my question.

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On my reading the question is either too broad or a duplicate of Computational models of early learning in children or Introductory resources on developmental psychology/neuroscience. I recommend that you focus the question to your needs, something like a technical accounts for parenting a child with Downs Syndrome. –  Artem Kaznatcheev Aug 8 '12 at 19:45
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I can see that this question is related to the earlier one on computational models of early learning, but I imagine some theories might be of more practical use to technically minded parents whereas others might be more suited to researchers. –  Jeromy Anglim Aug 10 '12 at 1:58

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