How To Raise A Child With Down Syndrome

By Subodh / October 1, 2015

A newborn brings unfathomable joy and feeling of fulfilment in life of his or her parents. However, for some parents the process of bringing up their kids turns out to be different. People who find their daughter or son have been afflicted with specific genetic or degenerative disorders, do not have it easy. However, the truth is bringing up such kids may not be as tedious as you may perceive! Several people who have brought up their kids afflicted with Down syndrome will bear testimony to this!

Nuances of Down Syndrome

Child With Down Syndrome

Down syndrome can be defined as a chromosomal condition which paves way for various types of birth anomalies. This usually happens when one fertilized egg is with an additional chromosome. A kid with Down syndrome has an additional copy of chromosome 21. Kids born with Down syndrome have physical and mental symptoms that can vary from mild to extreme. Such a child suffers mostly from delayed cognitive development. They also have difficulty in learning things as a result. On an average 1 in every 700 kids can be afflicted with this genetic disorder.

Symptoms of Down Syndrome

  • Eyes slanting upward
  • Irregular shaped ears
  • Short length of neck
  • Loose ligaments

How Parents Can Cope With Toddlers With Down Syndrome

Couple with their son who having Down's Syndrome

Couple with their son Alex, now an adored member of the family despite his Down’s Syndrome

Parents having kids with Down syndrome should remember that the toddlers may be more susceptible to developing certain ailments than others. Kids with this condition may be more prone to developing ailments like cardiac disorders, celiac disease, audio visual issues and digestive problems. The good thing is early diagnosis and medical intervention can help keep things in check.

Parents can adhere to the following steps to bring up kids with Down syndrome with ease:

  1. They can opt for special education and speech therapy and special education for their toddlers. However, some kids with this condition have also passed from mainstream schools and done well in professional life through parental and family support. Sometimes educating them at home can also be necessary.
  2. Parents with such kids should make good use of the web to find resources and learn details of the disorder. There are groups of people with kids afflicted with such genetic disorders and through interaction with them, they can learn a lot. Exploring the social networking sites for such groups can prove to be useful. Other parents with such kids can refer you to a suitable doctor or therapist which can be beneficial eventually.
  3. Sometimes people can have one child with Down syndrome and another child who is normal. In such cases, they need to balance time between both kids and teach the other child to provide care and support to the sibling. This can ensure the kid with the syndrome does not feel left out and gets support from everyone in the family.
  4. While kids with Down syndrome tend to grow slowly than others and their mental development may stop after a limit, they still attain puberty. Sexual features do manifest in such boys and girls. So, parents should ensure the kids get proper sex education after reaching puberty.
  5. You can ask a qualified doctor about proper foods and exercises that can be ideal for kids with this condition. By doing specific workout, such kids can overcome their physical limitations. Sometimes, they may need to be given special protein or nutrient rich supplements.
  6. Apart from family support and special education, kids with Down syndrome can also benefit from occupational therapy. Parents should ensure that their kids can avail this therapy, which teaches them methods to perform everyday chores easily. The occupational therapists often deploy special tools to impart training to kids with Down syndrome.