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A Parent's Guide to Down Syndrome

Updated on 12 September 2022

The parents of a child with Down syndrome should learn as much as possible from authentic resources to increase their quality of life. There are many programmes available online that could be of help. You can also talk to parents who have children with Down syndrome. This way, you can be prepared to take care of your child daily. You should also inform the people who interact with your child on a daily basis, like down syndrome specialists, teachers, etc. Most importantly, parents themselves have to take care of themselves.

Concerning Their Routine

Just like other children, children with Down syndrome also follow a regular routine. They happily respond when they are approached with a positive outlook. A list of things that you can do is given here,

  • Assign small tasks to your child based on his/her development. Subdivide them into simpler steps and let them do it. 
  • They should be allowed to play with kids with or without Down syndrome. 
  • They can do their day-to-day work. All they need is your support.
  • Be happy and positive as your child learns and progresses.
  • Spend time with your child. Read with them, play, go out, and have a fun time together. 
  • You can use some signals to make your child shift from one activity to the other. Use songs and pictures relevant to their daily schedule to make them respond to it. 
  • Have a positive attitude but don’t forget that your child will have issues so you don’t force any expectations on him. Encourage them with both their mistakes and achievements.
  • Give them simple and clear instructions. Whatever they learn at school, if it is implementable at home, do it. 
  • Let the child choose and take some risks. They can solve problems with their friends and fix issues that bother them. 

As parents, you also need some support,

  • Let your close family and friends know how to take care of your child so that you can get some time for important work or when you are away, the child does not suffer. You can take a small break from attending to your child and rejuvenate yourself. 
  • You should take care of your health and happiness. Whenever someone else is ready to replace you, do it. Keep a few things ready to help them take care of the child. Share your experiences and difficulties with them in order to let them understand your situation better and also your child’s condition.

Babies With Down Syndrome

Parents who have babies with Down syndrome should understand that their children have different needs and they need more support. Acceptance is the key. They need extra love and care. They are likely to have health issues. 

Such babies could have difficulties when they are fed with a bottle or are breastfed. Hearing issues, heart problems, vision problems, etc. are the other possible issues generally faced by babies with Down syndrome.

Young Children & Adults With Down Syndrome

Young children with Down syndrome take some time to learn everything as early intervention always benefits them. There are a few therapies that can improve their motor skills, social skills, language skills, and academic skills. 

The child can go to a regular school or to a specialised school, which has a lot of effect on their upbringing. As adults, they can go to college and even live a semi-independent kind of life. You know your child best, so what you decide for them will make sense. 

Any couple can have a child with Down syndrome who can learn things differently and manage many things on their own. Children with Down syndrome are smaller and they grow slowly. They could have some other congenital issues that differ from case to case. They look shorter and have motor development and learning issues. 

It is not appropriate to compare your special child with other children, and they surely live happy life. They take their time to develop skills with the help and support of family, doctors from the best hospital for down syndrome, teachers, and therapists. 

Dr. Afifa Zareen

MBBS, MD Pediatrics(OSM)

Pediatrician

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