#WORLDDOWNSYNDROMEDAY: CARING FOR THAT SPECIAL CHILD
Children are children and gifts from God regardless of the circumstance heralding their birth.
Down syndrome occurs in one of 691 births, or 6,000 births per year in the U.S., as a result of the presence of an extra chromosome 21 at conception. Although individuals with Down syndrome tend to experience some health problems throughout their lives, recent medical advances have increased their life expectancy.
In other words, our role as parents makes a big difference in our children’s development.
When you look down on that beautiful gift with Down’s Syndrome, remember that there are parents who don’t even have one to call their own. You are not in any way different. You are just a parent who has to put in more attention and care.
One of the good ways to deal with this is to join support groups for families. You will be able to share knowledge and experiences. Keep track of your child’s chronic health, treatments, and education records. Find good doctors, therapists and specialists, they exist even in the government-owned hospitals.
Low muscle tone and an array of other factors that often contribute to delayed speech and difficulty with articulation can affect kids with Down syndrome. However, you need to keep communication open and ongoing with your child.
Children with Down syndrome have a lot to say and they deserve to be heard and to be listened to, but while we are waiting for the language to set in it is imperative that we give them ways to communicate their wishes and desires. Be patient and handle them with love.
It can be tempting to focus upon the things your child can’t do or isn’t interested in, but this type of attention leads to a negative cycle in which both you and your child become frustrated. Stick to focusing on your child’s strength. Encourage him or her to be as sociable as possible and keep a good relationship with his or her siblings.
Photo Credit: Global Down Syndrome Foundation