Parent-based training of basic number skills in children with Down syndrome using an adaptive computer game

Silvia Lanfranchi, Sara Onnivello, Maristella Lunardon, Francesco Sella, Marco Zorzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Numeracy is an area of difficulty for children with Down syndrome (DS). It has been demonstrated that The Number Race, a non-commercial adaptive computer game designed to foster basic mathematical abilities, represents a promising instrument to enhance these skills in children with DS when delivered by an expert in a clinical setting. Aims: In the present study, we assessed the efficacy of The Number Race when administered at home by properly instructed and remotely supervised parents. Methods and procedures: Basic numerical skills were assessed before and after training, as well as at three-months follow-up. Performance of children with DS who worked at home with the parent (PG) was compared with that of children who received the training by an expert (EG). For both groups, the training lasted ten weeks, with two weekly sessions of 20−30 min. Outcomes and results: Results show that both groups improved across various measures of numerical proficiency, including the overall score of the numeracy assessment battery, while only the EG showed an improvement in a measure of mental calculation. The improvements were maintained three months after the end of the training. Conclusions and implications: These findings confirm the efficacy of The Number Race and extend it to an home-based setting, whereby parents administer the training with external supervision.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103919
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Basic number skills
  • Down syndrome
  • Number Race
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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