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How To Cope With The Down Syndrome In Children

coping with down syndrome

The Down’s syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material from chromosome 21. It generally causes a distinct facial appearance, intellectual disability and developmental delays. This article reveals the secrets of fow to cope with the down syndrome in children.

Sometimes, it may be associated with thyroid or heart disease. Statistics show that, about 6,000 babies born in the United States have Down syndrome. This means that Down syndrome occurs in about 1 in every 700 babies. This necessitates the need to learn how to cope with the down syndrome in children.

The Down syndrome occurs in a child when the child has an extra chromosome. These Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in the body that determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. They are bundles of genes, and the body relies on having just the right number of them in order to function properly.

Generally, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes but children affected with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. This extra chromosome changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which also causes both mental and physical challenges for the baby. At birth, babies with Down syndrome are often the same size as other babies, but they tend to grow more slowly. Because they often have less muscle tone, they may seem floppy and have trouble holding their heads up, but this usually gets better with time.

An identified factor that increases the risk for having a baby with Down syndrome is the mother’s age. Women who are 35 years or older when they become pregnant are more likely to have a pregnancy affected by Down syndrome than women who become pregnant at a younger age.

People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.

Although some children with the Down syndrome have only facial defects and no other major birth defects, some children however might have one or more major birth defects or other medical problems. On average, people with Down syndrome have mild to moderate issues with thinking, reasoning, and understanding. They can learn to pick up new skills their whole lives, but it may take longer to reach important goals like walking, talking, and developing social skills.

It also leads to the physical features and developmental challenges that can occur among such children. The effect is that such children usually have an averagely low IQ (a measure of intelligence) in the mildly-to-moderately low range and are slower to speak than other children.

Down Syndrome Symptoms

The following traits manifests in children with Down Syndrome.

  • A flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose
  • Almond-shaped eyes that slant up
  • A short neck
  • Hearing loss
  • Obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition where the person’s breathing temporarily stops while asleep
  • Ear infections
  • Eye diseases
  • Heart defects present at birth
  • Small ears
  • A tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth
  • Tiny white spots on the iris (colored part) of the eye
  • Small hands and feet
  • A single line across the palm of the hand (palmar crease)
  • Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb
  • Poor muscle tone or loose joints
  • Eyes that slant up at the outer corner
  • Small ears
  • Flat noses
  • Protruding tongue
  • Tiny white spots in the colored part of the eyes
  • Short neck
  • Small hands and feet
  • Short stature
  • Loose joints
  • Weak muscle tone

Caring For Babies with Down Syndrome

There is the need to make informed choices and decisions as regards treatments that can help babies with this condition thrive. The first step is learning as much about it as you can.

Such children may need help in different ways, from crawling and walking to talking and learning how to be social. They deserve parents’ full attention.

They need to be taught how to Feed and dress themselves, Roll over, crawl, and walk, Play and be around other people, Think and solve problems, Talk, listen, and understand others.

Parents should also learn to

  • Let their children make choices when it makes sense to. This can be as simple as letting them choose what clothes to wear.
  • Allow them to take reasonable risks. This is a challenge every parent faces. You need to protect your children, but also let them see what they can handle.
  • Support them in solving problems, like how to deal with an issue with friends or approach a problem at school. You don’t have to fix it for them, but help them do it themselves

Myths

  • Children with Down syndrome have a short life span.
  • Down syndrome is hereditary and runs in families.
  • Most children with Down syndrome are born to parents above 40 years
  • Children with Down syndrome must be placed in segregated special education programs.
  • Children with Down syndrome have severe cognitive delays.
  • Down syndrome can’t be cured.

Down Syndrome and Ageing

As children enter their teenage years, it is necessary to start planning with them for adult life. There is the need to build self-esteem. Self-esteem is about accepting who you are. Many teenagers and young people, including people with Down’s syndrome, struggle with self-esteem to a certain degree. 

Old age is always associated with social and biological changes which affects everyone as they grow older. As this takes place, there are changes occurring in brain structure and function. These are particularly marked at the two extremes of life, childhood and old age.

 Old age is introduces an increased risk of developing minor cognitive difficulties and the development of more serious mental health problems, such as depression and dementia, as well as physical illnesses.

Old age can also bring unexpected challenges for which adults with Down syndrome, their families and caregivers may not feel adequately prepared. People with Down syndrome experience “accelerated aging,” meaning that they may experience certain conditions and physical features that are common to typically aging adults at an earlier age than others.

They sometimes are at risk of early cataracts and keratoconus. Cataracts cause a clouding of the lens of the eye, producing blurry and impaired vision. They also have high risk for conductive hearing loss.

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