Compensation of Intellectual Disability in a Relational Dialogue on Down Syndrome



Down syndrome, compensation, behavioural profile, Intellectual Disabilities Development


The historical-cultural theory of Intellectual Disability (DI) overcompensation/compensation is referenced in several studies, but little empirical evidence is presented to corroborate this thesis. In this work, 13 current studies were analysed about the behavioural profile of people with Down syndrome (DS), a case of neurobiological ID, published in the last 15 years, in order to verify the possibility of dialogue with the theorizing about compensation. Despite contributing to an up to date understanding of DS, the results point to similarities between different scientific traditions allowing discussions regarding methodologies, data interpretation, language comprehension, and the impact of the studies for school inclusion and the development of people with ID/DS. It is concluded that the theorization in question is pertinent to developmental studies, dialogues with other perspectives and that its progress depends on investigations directed to the affective motivators/emotions of the person with ID/DS by means of more interpretative methodologies.

Keywords: Down syndrome, compensation, behavioural profile, Intellectual Disabilities Development


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How to Cite

Souza, F. R. de, Souza, F. R. de, & Barbato, S. B. (2020). Compensation of Intellectual Disability in a Relational Dialogue on Down Syndrome. Outlines. Critical Practice Studies, 21(1), 49–68. Retrieved from