Down syndrome is a genetic condition that results when an individual is born with an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. It comes with characteristic physical traits such as distinct facial features and short stature and babies may need health interventions including surgeries to address heart, hearing or eyesight issues The kind of work undertaken by people with Down syndrome varies from person to person. Some work in restaurants as greeters, others may bag groceries at the supermarket or answer phones at an office. There are celebrated artists with the condition, including painters, singers, dancers and musicians Learners with Down syndrome enjoy the repetition, bite-sized modules and positive feedback. Try our method to see if it can work for you.
With a network of loved ones, friends, educators, and medical professionals, children with Down syndrome can thrive and lead full lives. Society has come a long way in how children with this condition are treated, although misconceptions still exist.
Learn what steps you can take to help a child with Down syndrome. Learn what Down syndrome is. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder. It happens when someone is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21. This extra genetic material affects a person’s development. • Down syndrome causes changes in physical development.
People with Down syndrome may be more prone to medical conditions like heart or respiratory issues. Lower muscle tone, smaller stature, and flat facial features also affect some people with Down syndrome. • People with Down syndrome typically have some sort of intellectual disability.
This means they develop at a slower pace or take longer to learn new information. For example, a child with Down syndrome may learn to walk later than most children.
An adult with Down syndrome may need extra help learning a new task. • Every person with Down syndrome is an individual. Physical and intellectual development varies greatly from person-to-person. Most issues affecting development are mild to moderate. With modern medical care, people with Down syndrome have an average life expectancy of 60 years.
Recognize the abilities and talents of children with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome lead rich and fulfilling lives. Their personalities and talents are just as varied as any other child’s. They have a full range of emotions, from pride and happiness to fear and disappointment.
• Many children with Down syndrome are in regular education classrooms. They may get extra support for certain subjects like reading or math. With the right support, most children learn to read and write. Eventually they can get vocational training, hold jobs, and some even go to college. • Just like other children, children with Down syndrome have different talents and strengths. Some love music and art while others like to play sports.
Some are shy and timid while others are outgoing and bold. Be aware of misconceptions about Down Syndrome. In the not too distant past, children with Down syndrome were treated poorly by society. They were sent away to institutions and denied appropriate medical care and learning support. Unfortunately, negative perceptions still exist. Society is not always accepting of people with Down syndrome. • Adults and children may tease, taunt, and avoid children with Down syndrome.
Those with Down syndrome experience pain and hurt just like any other person. Social rejection damages their self-esteem. • As they get older, they may be passed over for a job because of their condition. It’s a misconception that people with Down syndrome can’t work or take care of themselves.
Most people with this condition grow into productive adults who can contribute to society. • Children with Down syndrome face hurdles like discrimination and lack of acceptance. They need extra support from their loved ones and caregivers so they can overcome these obstacles. Get medical support for your child. Make sure your loved one has all the support they need to succeed at home and at school. Since every child with Down syndrome is unique, they each need a personalized plan to help them reach their full potential.
• Find a pediatrician or primary care provider that you trust. The pediatrician should have strong communication skills and experience with Down syndrome, or be willing to learn about the condition. A pediatrician helps you coordinate your child’s medical care.
• Connect with your local early intervention services. They can help babies and toddlers with developmental delays and learning disabilities.
Services like occupational, physical and speech therapy are often low cost or free. Contact the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center in your state: . Tell them you want early intervention services and need to schedule an evaluation. Get educational support for your child. Partner with your child’s school. You need to work as a team with teachers and school counselors to make sure your child is getting all the academic and social support they need.
• Many children benefit from inclusion, which is attending regular education classes, with extra support. Others benefit from attending special education classes, or a combination of regular and special education. • By law, children with Down syndrome who attend public school are entitled to an Individualized Education Plan or IEP. This is a plan you create with the school that addresses your child’s specific learning needs. It is reviewed each year.
• Contact the school counselor and say you want to set up an IEP. The school will schedule an evaluation and then you’ll attend meetings to create and approve the IEP. Teach your child how to make friends. Children with Down syndrome benefit from practicing social skills. Making friends can be a challenge for any child. Children with this condition sometimes have a harder time dealing with peers.
• Talk about friendly and unfriendly actions and who makes a good friend. Kids who are smiling and use kind words are good new friends. Kids who ignore you, walk away, or say mean things are people to avoid.
• Practice how to start a conversation. Once your child learns about who to approach and who to stay away from, practice what to say to a new friend. Work on how to introduce yourself. For example, “Hi! My name is Anna. What’s your name? What’s your favorite game to play?” Take turns rehearsing different conversation starters with your child.
• Teach your child how to deal with mean or hurtful behavior. Talk to your child about what they can do if someone is unkind or mean. For example, tell the person to stop, get help from a teacher, or walk away. • Schedule play dates. Get to know other parents and help your child interact with their new friends. Take a break. You may be a parent, sibling, grandparent or a caregiver of a child with Down syndrome. Helping a child with special needs can be hard at times. When you feel like you're burnt out or your patience is running low, get help.
Take a break and share responsibilities with others. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of someone else. • Make time for yourself. Even if you only have five minutes, spend it doing something relaxing.
Take a walk, read, or stretch. Brief breaks can help you recharge. • Create a caregiver or helper schedule. For example, an older sibling helps with homework, a friend practices baseball, and you help with bedtime. • Consider respite services. Each state has respite services for caregivers of children with special needs. Respite care gives you a break while a professional care provider watches your child. The ARCH National Respite Network has a state-by-state locator tool: .
Model accepting and kind behavior. As a friend or loved one of a child with Down syndrome, you can show others that having Down syndrome doesn’t get in the way of living a full life.
By having fun, playing, and hanging out with a child with Down syndrome, you’re showing the world how they should treat children with special needs — with caring, kindness, and respect, like any other child. • Talk to your child’s school about how they promote acceptance. Ask what they do to educate children about diversity and accepting differences. How do they promote and model respect? If your school doesn’t have diversity and acceptance programs, recommend they create some. Create a support network.
Connect with people in the Down syndrome community to help yourself, your child, and other families. There are online and in-person groups for parents and caregivers, siblings, and people with Down syndrome.
• Many local groups have community outreach activities to raise awareness and funding for Down syndrome. Contact the National Down Syndrome Society Helpline to find groups and resources in your area: .
Get involved. Join local organizations that advocate for children with Down syndrome. By becoming a member, donor, or volunteer, you are taking steps to educate the public about this condition.
Education dispels myths about Down syndrome and helps build a more accepting society. • The Special Olympics helps people with intellectual disabilities build their confidence and abilities through sports. • The Government Affairs Committee works to improve public policy and laws for those with Down syndrome and intellectual special needs. Join or start a National Down Syndrome Society Government Affairs Committee.
You can find more information . Community Answer • Take it one step at a time, and expect to move slowly. As you wash their hair, talk about the steps involved in the process. Then, have them try it themselves with supervision (on their own hair, a doll's hair, or your hair). Keep supervising until they can routinely do it well themselves. Make bath/shower time be laid back, and take the opportunity to play with soap bubbles and make things fun.
Community Answer • Tell the parents that they are doing well, and that they have a beautiful child. That can mean a lot. Support the child's self-esteem and assertiveness skills; these are especially important for children with disabilities.
Encourage the parents to network with other parents of children with DS, and with adults with DS. • Take him outside and help him get exercise during the day. It's great if he can find something he likes, like swimming or shooting hoops. This will wear him out more. Also, have quiet time to relax shortly before bed, ideally with no screens.
Talk with your parents about finding a therapy for your brother that can decrease his agitation. • If you play a part in a power struggle, your daughter has an opportunity to win.
This needs to stop. Do not ever give into a tantrum, or she'll learn that's how she can get what she wants. This situation has gotten pretty bad, so help from a trained therapist or social worker may be your best bet. (Watch for , though; a few use these.) Read up on handling tantrums, and consider an .
You may also want to have her evaluated for Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a condition worth researching. • It sounds like you are already doing a great job with the walks and singing, those are fantastic ideas.
Pay attention to the precursors of stress: does he have any nervous habits or particular facial expressions during the early onset of panic? Watch closely. In the future, when you see these signs, intervene early. Ask how he's doing, and if he'd like to take a short walk (or some other type of break he enjoys). This may stop the panic from building up. Also, try to do the same thing for the other students, because if they act out less, then everyone benefits.
It sounds like you are a very compassionate aide, so keep being kind, understanding, and proactive. • You can't make your little brother walk, because you have no control over his developmental timeline. It's normal for people with Down Syndrome to take longer to walk. (My little sister did. She's 18 now, and she reads simple chapter books, does laundry, plays sports, and makes lunch.
These things took longer, but happened.) Your little brother will start walking when he's ready. He may be in physical or occupational therapy to help. He'll start showing some pre-walking skills eventually, like taking steps while clinging to furniture; my sister liked to push dolls in strollers while she was new to walking.
Unless he has some other health condition, he'll learn to walk in his own time.
best dating a person with down syndrome learners - Can people with Down syndrome have a high IQ?
they may have never known they could feel towards someone just because of a label. The stereotypes and judgments people make against someone with Down syndrome have the potential to be much more harmful to their mental health than the affects of their genetic differences in their everyday lives. For every aspect of a disorder you can name, there is an attached stereotype, that if allowed to spread without confrontation, which has the potential to significantly hurt the person affected and society in general.
A major part of teaching involves advocacy for students. Do your part in your classroom by first finding out the real deal with Down syndrome facts. Myth: People with Down syndrome are born to parents that older. Fact: Age does increase the likelihood of a mother having a child with Down syndrome, but a woman of any age can have a child with the disorder. In fact, teen mothers are also predisposed to birthing a child with it. For more information, see this article: Myth: Down syndrome is the same thing as severe mental retardation.
Fact: Mild-to-moderate intellectual disabilities may be present in many but severe problems are not common. A teacher will do best to remember that his students are capable of learning regardless of the severity of affliction. Myth: People with Down syndrome will die young. Fact: The average life span of a person with the disorder is 50 years of age. Like everyone else, a considerable number of factors go into how long a person will live.
To assume that because a person has a genetic disorder that they will die young shows a level of ignorance that a teacher in special education cannot afford to maintain if she intends to experience a long career in the field.
Myth: People with Down syndrome do best in self-contained classrooms and institutions. Fact: Placement in either an institution or segregated classroom is a decision made by the student’s team based on individual need rather than strict requirement. There are people with Down syndrome placed in these environments but this is not the norm.
An integrated life amongst those without the disorder is highly possible and is encouraged. Specialized support for Down syndrome is available in nearly every city, big or small.
Myth: If you have Down syndrome, you are always happy. Fact: To believe that a person is incapable of experiencing a range of emotions is cruel. This disorder does not negate emotional health no more than any other condition. People with Down syndrome are capable of dealing with the emotions of others and expressing their own, if allowed, which is true for anyone else.
Myth: A person with Down syndrome is incapable of marrying, forming bonds with others, or living away from home. Fact: Marriage is an option for everyone who wants to be married and Down syndrome does not automatically limit a person from experiencing it.
Dating, socializing, making friends, moving out, marrying, and having children are all things that should go on a person with Down syndrome’s to-do list.
Teachers are taught and trained on how to work with persons with Down syndrome but even that special experience does not stop us from making human mistakes. With humanity comes fault, and it is not uncommon for teachers to forget that special education was created to address the challenges the individual faces rather than to label and broaden prejudgments relatable to a disorder. No disorder can definitively limit a student. All things are possible for the student to accomplish with the right education signified by specialization.
• Early intervention programs help children with Down syndrome reach their potential. • Most babies and young children with Down syndrome can and do attend childcare centres, playgroups and preschool settings. • Children with Down syndrome can attend mainstream schools. • Many students with Down syndrome reach Year 12 and go on to post-school training or tertiary education. Although the most important influence on early development is daily interaction and activities within the family, children with Down syndrome also benefit from structured learning opportunities.
Families are encouraged to access the early learning and intervention services that are available from infancy. This will support the development of some of the most important early childhood skills.
Socially appropriate behaviour should be encouraged and expected right from the beginning. Children with Down syndrome benefit from boundary setting in the same way as other children. Parenting a child with Down syndrome will, in many ways, not be very different from parenting any other child. Good parenting practices apply to all children. And for all children, consistency of approach is important. Early intervention programs and preschool Most babies and young children with Down syndrome can and do attend childcare centres, playgroups and preschool settings alongside children of the same age.
They will learn a great deal from joining in with other young children. Early learning and intervention specialists work with families to encourage learning and development in the daily life of the child.
Children with Down syndrome can be included in all activities and should have the same expectations placed on them for good behaviour and responsibility as other children do.
There are no behaviours specific to children with Down syndrome. However, sometimes the inability to express themselves with words can lead to frustration. Instead, children with Down syndrome will try to express themselves through behaviours – sometimes undesirable ones.
It is often necessary to look beyond a behaviour and find the real message that the child is trying to express. This helps to understand and deal with the behaviour. It is often because of a lack of understanding about the underlying cause of a behaviour that people with Down syndrome are labelled as being stubborn.
School years Children with Down syndrome can attend the school of their parents' choice. In the past, many young people with Down syndrome have attended separate schools for students with intellectual disabilities.
However, research shows that the majority of children with Down syndrome make the best progress when they are educated in mainstream schools alongside their peers. A student with Down syndrome is more likely to experience success in a school where inclusion is embraced and supported as part of the school culture, and where the different learning needs of all the students are acknowledged and properly addressed.
Research also shows that the whole school benefits from including students with disabilities as part of the school community. A range of students in every class will benefit from strategies developed to meet the learning needs of a student with Down syndrome.
The best outcomes are achieved when appropriate support is provided to teachers to fully include the student in the class. Children with Down syndrome should be provided with additional support to access the regular curriculum.
The level of support and amount of program modification required will vary from one student to another. Learning potential People with Down syndrome generally take longer to learn new things.
New skills may need to be broken down into smaller steps than for other learners and more repetition may be needed to retain learned skills. Children with Down syndrome may require more structure in their activities so that they can work independently in class. The gap in skills and learning between children with Down syndrome and other children will grow with age. By secondary school, the gap may be quite significant. People with Down syndrome do not plateau or stop learning new skills in their teenage or adult years.
They will continue to make steady progress and continue learning throughout life if given the opportunity to do so. Many students with Down syndrome reach Year 12 and go on to post-school training or tertiary education. Access to a range of work experience opportunities is very important in helping young people with Down syndrome to make informed choices about their life after school. Young people with Down syndrome face greater challenges in leaving school and making the transition to adult life than their peers, and more planning is likely to be needed than for other young people.
While everyone wants their child to experience success in school, it is also important to note that academic success is not the key to being able to lead an ordinary life. Many young people leave school with limited academic skills, yet are well equipped to lead a happy, fulfilling and independent life as a productive member of the community. Where to get help • Down Syndrome Victoria Tel. 1300 658 873 • Better Start for Children with Disability Tel.
1800 242 636 Things to remember • Early intervention programs help children with Down syndrome reach their potential. • Most babies and young children with Down syndrome can and do attend childcare centres, playgroups and preschool settings. • Children with Down syndrome can attend mainstream schools.
• Many students with Down syndrome reach Year 12 and go on to post-school training or tertiary education. • Down syndrome today, 2011, Down Syndrome Victoria. • Learners with Down syndrome, 2009, Down Syndrome Victoria.
• Buckley, S & Bird, G, 2006, ‘A comparison of mainstream and special education for teenagers with Down syndrome: Implications for parents and teachers’, Down Syndrome Research and Practice, vol. 9, no. 3, pp.
54 –67. • Buckley, S & Bird, G, 2000, Education for individuals with Down syndrome – an overview, Down syndrome education online. • A Healthy Start to School – a guide for parents of children in their foundation year of school... • A Healthy Start to School – a guide for parents of children in their foundation year of school...
• There are a number of significant health and medical issues that are more common in people with Down syndrome...
• For a person with Down syndrome, being included in all aspects of family life can lead to a successful life within the community... • If your child has a disability, you need to consider extra issues when your child starts school...
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