Shortly after my son was born, I researched Down syndrome as much as I could. I bought and read books, read articles, met people connected to DS, asked questions, and posted on DS boards on online sites. I wanted to know all I could as fast as I could. Of course, I've since learned that all that book reading and studying was good, but it could never compensate for, nor replace, experience.
One of the things I read while researching was that people with DS have memory issues. I've been interested to see how my son does with memory skills. I was pleasantly surprised to see him be able to match picture cards to pictures in a book while at his speech therapy session last week. Wanting to help him with this new skill, I decided to purchase a game from Walmart called Memory. I've been using it to help him with him memory and I've been very pleased to watch him correctly match cards from this game. I've done it a couple of different ways and with each match we go over the sign, the name, and the sound. He's been consistently trying to make more sounds and he's done it much more spontaneously. Not only is he having fun with the game, he's improving his memory. I'd expected, from my research, that he wouldn't have much memory retention, but I've learned from experience that at this point he actually has a great memory.
Update on speech therapy: last week, and this week, his therapist was quite surprised at his vocalization and willingness to try new sounds so I think we're making progress--yay!