More About Downs Syndrome

How to Cope Well with Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is often considered as a lifetime problem, so patients really need a lot of support and to learn coping measures to deal with the different challenges. The response of patients will differ, as well as their personal, mental and emotional ability to handle the new situations. Find out the best approaches that lead to independence and wellness.

Expert Advice

It is important that you consult the professionals first, before determining the proper approaches that lead to a better and healthier lifestyle. You may belong to an online forum or local support group. Start to talk about the situation with others who share the same concerns and sentiments with you. It is important to know that patients’ reactions can differ depending on their own personal experiences and capabilities.

Find out the most reliable ways and coping measures that worked for most patients. Talk therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other rehabilitative methods are some of the proven ways. There are also medications that may be prescribed, if other symptoms or conditions are present. These should only be used if truly recommended by the experts.

Help Starts Within

You need to start by finding the right coping measures for yourself to provide full support to your child. You may experience feelings of guilt, fear, shock and disbelief. Take note that your baby is the one who needs the most attention and support at this time. Take charge of your emotions and understand the ways to improve and adjust accordingly. You can start by rearranging the home to offer safety and security for the baby, changing your schedule to provide more time for him or her and knowing the right diet, toys and other tools for independence.

Family Support

Other members of the family should also help during the most critical stages of the child’s life. Although milestones may be reached at a later age, every person in the house should contribute to boost overall wellness. If you intend to breastfeed your baby, you should ask your physician first, since babies with Down syndrome tend to have low muscle tone or hypotonia. They may have difficulty breastfeeding properly. Breastfeeding can actually help in immunity and other functions for the baby.

Siblings can take turns taking care of the baby. Other relatives can also come over to help the child improve social skills and communicating. Take your child to different venues with different people to boost its confidence. The family should coordinate well to meet the needs of the baby until it is ready to do things alone.

Taking It Slowly

The coping techniques need to be incorporated slowly for patients to deal with the challenges and learn to become independent. Do not pressure the patient so much to reach new heights and give compliments and praise for small efforts. Parents should also be kind to themselves and stop blaming the wrong reasons. Down syndrome is a genetic condition that people truly do not have any control over.

The effects and symptoms of Down syndrome usually last a lifetime so individuals and families need to be ready for these. Parents should not also stop themselves from giving birth to more kids because they have a history of the condition. Although it is not entirely impossible, a lot of parents can actually continue giving birth to normal children despite the previous one being afflicted with Down syndrome.

The Facts On Down Syndrome

John Langdon Down was a British doctor who was the first to fully describe a syndrome that would eventually bear his name. This was back in 1866 but even before that scientists and doctors had described some aspects of Down Syndrome as early as 1838. This affliction is not new, it has been around since time began and today it is the most common of the genetic abnormalities.

Down Syndrome is also called Trisomy 21 because it is a mutation on the 21st set of human chromosomes, usually an added portion on one strand or a whole strand unto itself. This is thought to happen when the 21st chromosome fails to separate from either the egg or the sperm cell so that cell now carries an extra copy on to the next phase of development. It is estimated that eighty eight percent of cases are caused by the egg failing to separate properly, while only eight percent happen on the sperm side of the equation. The other three percent happens sometime after the egg and sperm have merged.

Since chromosomes come in pairs, an added one anywhere is going to be detrimental in some way to the affected person. Down Syndrome happens in one out of every one thousand births and it is totally by chance that it occurs; there is no cure but it can be detected both during pregnancy and after birth quite easily.

Babies born with this syndrome have characteristic facial features, physical growth delays and intellectual disabilities. They usually have a small chin, slanted eyes, a big tongue, extra space between the first and second toe, flexible ligaments, a short neck and a flat, wide face. Their growth in terms of height is slower than that of an unaffected baby, and they may stutter or have rapid or irregular speech patterns. There is also an increased risk of hearing and vision disorders and lower fertility rates, however the chance of getting a cancerous tumor is lower as there are more tumor suppressor genes when a person has three chromosome 21.

While many women opt to have a termination when they hear that their baby is afflicted, others have their children who then grow up to be loving members of society. Some can hold down jobs and they are able to do most things that able bodied people can do. This syndrome does have its effects, but also shows us that differences should be embraced.