Children with Down's Syndrome - what parents need to know
The birth of a baby with Down syndrome is a real test for parents.Many fall into depression, many feel shy of their own child, but this pathology is known to mankind for a long time, modern medicine confidently declares that with proper training, attitudes such "sunny babes" are fully adaptable in society, able to receive education and a profession.
There is no need to panic at the birth of a baby with Down's syndrome, it is wiser to get information about the characteristics of such children and tune in for a long time to get results.
To start with some statistics:
- The delay in development in children with Down's syndrome will be mandatory, but they are fully trained.With the help of specially developed training programs, it is possible to increase their IQs to 75, these children study at the school in a general program and are able to obtain higher education.
- The development of a child with Down syndrome occurs much faster if it communicates with healthy peers and grows in the family, rather than in a specialized boarding school.
- "Sunny children" have such qualities as kindness, openness, friendliness - they are pronounced and more sincere than in healthy children.As adults, such children can create families, but the risk of having a baby with Down's syndrome is 50%.
- The life expectancy of a person with the pathology under consideration was up to 50 years in modern medicine, in some cases they live to the advanced years.
- In no case should parents blame themselves for the birth of a child with Down syndrome!There are risk factors, but most children with this diagnosis were born in healthy women aged 18-35 years.
- If the family already has a child with Down's syndrome, the risk of having a second baby with the same diagnosis is 1%.
Development of a child with Down syndrome
A few decades ago, the diagnosis in question was seen as a sentence - children were placed in special boarding schools, isolated from society.Now the situation is dramatically changing - the society is learning to perceive such children adequately, parents are trying to give them maximum opportunities for the future in terms of education and vocational training, families and such children are assisted by the state.
From the moment the child is discharged from Down's syndrome and until his adulthood, the district pediatrician is responsible for him.The doctor should tell the parents how to take care of the child correctly, give a referral for a full examination - this will help to identify the associated pathologies, quickly take steps to treatment.
In 60% of births of children with Down's syndrome, problems with vision are detected.And, at an early age to determine the baby any deviations is impossible, only the oculist will be able to conduct a full examination and make a diagnosis.The earlier the pathology is detected, the better the forecasts are made by the doctors, therefore it is not worth to miss the visits to the oculist.
This specialist can identify abnormalities in the endocrine system, he pays particular attention to the thyroid gland.To address to the endocrinologist follows those parents at whom the child with a syndrome of the Down begins to recover, becomes flaccid and sleepy, its palms and stops differ coldness.
A physician should monitor the development of the child's nervous system, if necessary, he can prescribe therapeutic physical exercises, massages, medications and physiotherapy procedures to stimulate proper development.
This specialist checks the hearing of the child - in Down's syndrome, the accompanying pathology may be a hearing loss that will necessarily affect the child's speech and psychoemotional development.The first sign of hearing impairment is the child's lack of response to a loud, sudden sound( he should at least shudder).Sometimes an otolaryngologist performs an operation to remove adenoids, which ensures a permanent closed state of the mouth.
Regular sessions with a specialist will help to reduce problems with speech - sounds a child with Down syndrome will pronounce clearly and distinctly, and this will be useful for him and for adaptation in society and for further education.
But parents should not only care about their child with Down's syndrome, but also about their own health.Quite a support can have a psychologist - he will teach to perceive his own baby adequately, teach him to love him, do not be shy.By the way, the psychologist will help the child himself - he will pick up a course of studies for him that will allow to level the development of the baby and prepare it for preschool or school establishment.
Despite the full assistance from specialists, the main concerns are borne by the parents.It is they who must constantly develop the child's physical and mental abilities so that he can become a full-fledged member of society. And in this difficult work special publications, literature:
- "Little Steps" will help.This program is specially designed for classes with children who are lagging behind in development.In it, step by step and in as much detail as possible, exercises are written that will help to ensure the normal all-round development of the baby with Down syndrome.
- The Montessori system.This program is so effective that sometimes children with Down syndrome in development outstrip their healthy peers!
But parents should understand that a child with Down's syndrome will be difficult to study, they will have to deal with him constantly.It is necessary to know the strengths of such special children in order to focus on them.
Strengths in children with Down syndrome
Yes, these babies are lagging behind in development, but they also have strengths!
Excellent visual perception, attention to detail
From the first days of training the kid needs to show cards with numbers and objects, calling them.In day it is necessary to study 2-3 new concepts - this is quite enough.And all further studies will be based on visual aids, some signs / signs and gestures.
Learn from the example of adults and children of the appropriate age
Closely monitor your actions and words - a child with Down syndrome repeats everything for others.If you want to instill some skill to him, then just show yourself the correct order of actions.Just keep in mind that you will have to repeat your actions repeatedly, the kid with Down syndrome does not immediately remember everything.
Quickly learn to read
Children with Down's Syndrome can learn the text and even use it, so teach them to greet, say goodbye to people, make their requests.An excellent "reinforcement" will be the demonstration of action gestures.
"Sunny children" love to sing and dance, perform on stage, write poetry.Therefore, specialists often use for their development art therapy - drawing, modeling of plasticine and clay, painting on wood and other directions.
Did you know that in the Paralympic Games excellent results are achieved by swimmers, gymnasts and runners with Down syndrome?Such children began their journey with ordinary physical education, which they perform with pleasure.
Excellent master computer
This skill can become the basis for the future profession - people with Down syndrome successfully work in the field of IT-technologies.
In addition to the above, children with Down's syndrome are very sensitive to others, their emotions, quickly recognize falsehood.Therefore, it is necessary to protect them from negative emotions - do not communicate with people who feel pity or disgust for the baby.
Features of the physical development of a baby with Down syndrome
It is very important in the first year of a child's life with a diagnosed diagnosis to begin his physical development and constantly communicate with him.If the parents set themselves the task of dressing / feeding / bathing the baby, and the development postponed for later, then in the future there will be problems with this.Moreover, the acquisition of a single skill "pulls" the acquisition of new ones.For example, a child has learned to sit - he immediately starts to take / manipulate toys, and this develops fine motor skills, which contributes to the development of speech and logical thinking.
Massage and gymnastics
This is the best method of strengthening the muscles, increasing their tone.Massage is allowed for children over 2 weeks and weighing more than 2 kg, massage courses should be repeated every six months.
Please note: does not need to consult specialists every time - you can perform massage yourself at home.Down syndrome is just the case when the mother's massage is not inferior to the professional.
Massage rules for children with Down syndrome:
- Movement can only be stroking, light.Too active carrying out of massage will not strengthen muscles, and, on the contrary, will weaken them.
- The hand of the massage should slide easily over the body of the child.The skin of the baby should not be folded or stretched at the same time.
- Particular attention during the massage should be given to the hands and forearms - it is in these places are located the reflex zones, which are responsible for human speech.
- Do and face massage - this will improve the facial expressions and pronunciation of sounds.You can make movements from the back of the nose to the ears, from the chin to the temples and circular around the mouth.
- The last step in the procedure is to lightly touch the pads of the fingers to the cheeks and to the forehead of the child.If the massage is done before feeding, the baby will be easier to suck.
- Specialists strongly recommend to supplement the massage with gymnastics - that's what the pediatrician can tell you about what exercises you can perform.
Please note: massage and gymnastics accelerate the movement of blood and significantly increase the burden on the heart.Therefore, in case of a diagnosis of a kid's heart disease( concomitant pathology) before the massage and gymnastics, you need to get a consultation from a cardiologist.
The very first will appear in a half to four months( all depends on the degree of development gap).To bring a smile, it is enough to look into the eyes of the child and smile sincerely.And if the kid also smiled in response, then you need to praise him, press him to yourself, gently pat on the head - such actions will help to consolidate the skill.
Walking and stretching handles to parents / brothers / grandparents children with Down syndrome appear in 6 months.But this does not mean that until this moment he does not recognize anyone, nobody is happy - just his reduced muscle tone does not give the opportunity to express feelings.
Ability to sit
It is desirable to achieve early "planting" of the baby, but because of anatomical features a child with Down's syndrome sits only in 9-10 months.Some children learn to sit only to 2 years of their life - it depends on the available accompanying pathologies, on the overall development of the body.But as soon as the kid has sat down, it can be accustomed to hold in his hand a cracker, a bottle of water and even plant it on a pot.
Children with Down's syndrome begin to crawl and walk for a year and a half or two.And, at first parents should help him learn to crawl, moving his legs - the kid will understand what he needs to do for independent movement and will fix this skill.
A child with this syndrome will learn to do everything the same as a healthy baby, but a little later.Do not get upset about this - with age, the development gap will not be so noticeable, especially as some "sunny babies" develop within the norm.
Personality development in Down syndrome
The problem in a child with a superfluous chromosome can also arise psychophysically.The fact is that it is very difficult for such children to control their emotions, it is almost impossible to force them to do what they do not want at the moment.Correct the situation will help only a clear daily routine - all the basic "activities" must take place at a certain time.This will help organize a child with Down syndrome, get used to compulsory actions, teach him the discipline.
Parents should remember that "solar children" are happy to perform small tasks, but there may be difficulties with the implementation of more protracted ones - they simply can not imagine the final result.For example, the kid will successfully complete the task of "putting one cube on another", but it will take a long time to think over the task "build a house".Advice to parents - each class is divided into stages and give out the task strictly according to them.
Autistic disorders are diagnosed in 20% of children with Down's syndrome.It manifests itself by refusing to communicate with others, repeating the same type of actions( for example, can spin or jump for hours), attacks of aggression and the desire for monotony.If this behavior is observed in the child, then you need to seek help from a psychologist, then - to a psychiatrist.
Parents should know some features of the cognitive sphere of a baby with Down syndrome:
- Reading such special babies is easy, it should be encouraged.The ability to read will replenish the child's vocabulary, improve his thinking.Many children prefer reading to writing - this is also a very useful skill.
- Attention to detail in the "solar children" is simply incredible - they can after the first session remember the color of the object, identify it in a group( for example, furniture or wardrobe items).
- Short-term auditory memory is not sufficiently developed in children with Down's syndrome, and in fact it is necessary for the development of speech, for its assimilation and perception.People with this pathology speak slowly, the amount of memory they have is small enough, so it's hard for them to follow instructions, to count in their minds, to understand the text they read.To train short-term auditory memory it is possible and it is necessary - ask the child to repeat the heard phrases, beginning with single-word and approaching to more difficult.
- Spatial and visual memory in special children is not violated, this should be used in training.If there is a study of new words, then you need to show a card with a drawn object or figure.If, however, the study of actions is underway, they should be verbally described when performing( "I pour the tea", "I'm on my shoes").
- With mathematics in children with Down's syndrome there will definitely be problems.To learn a verbal account, get him a counting stick, or conduct classes with familiar objects - pencils, cubes, cars.
Parents in the learning process must consider the strongest aspects of their baby - imitation and diligence.Show the child an example of how to do it, explain what needs to be done and the kid will surely perform everything.Just do not rush it!Impulses in the cerebral cortex are less common with them than in healthy children, so just have patience and wait for it to complete the task.
The development of speech is an important aspect, and it is necessary to begin this process from the first days of life of a baby with Down syndrome.Talking with such a child should be loud and emotional, clearly pronouncing all the words - do not allow sucking!Let the voice be something quiet, then loud - it will allow to develop not only the speech, but also the hearing / emotions of the child.
Constantly name objects and voice your actions - "Now we'll drink from a bottle", "Mama puts on your pants".The repeated repetition of the agreed actions will help in the future to connect the child with the object and the action, to compare them.
Any activities and manipulations with the baby must be supported by positive emotions.Slap it on the handles and legs, stroke on the back, tickle and smile at him - this will provoke an increase in the motor activity of the child, which is accompanied by the pronunciation of sounds.And parents should repeat these sounds - the kid will be glad that he "understands", the skill will lead the conversation.
If you study the name of something, then be sure to reinforce everything with sounds.For example, the new word "machine" - hands "twist the wheel", tear as a motor.If you return to this word, then again repeat all the spoken actions and sounds - this will create a clear image of the "object-action" in the child's head.
People with Down syndrome are subject to stress and depression - this also applies to children.Their psycho-emotional background is too unstable, they perfectly understand / "guess" the emotions of others and a negative attitude can lead a "sunny child" to outbursts of aggression, sleep disorders, loss of appetite, hysterics.It is especially important to control the psychoemotional background in adolescents with the syndrome under consideration - they are already well aware of their specificity and may be upset about the idea of suicide.In this case, only a psychiatrist will help, which, if necessary, can prescribe a child antidepressants.
Parents should involve healthy peers in communicating with children with Down's syndrome - the circle of friends and acquaintances should not be limited to a rehabilitation center.First, babies with the pathology in question are very sociable, and secondly, their development will be accelerated when communicating with healthy children.
Games with the Toddler
A child with Down's syndrome needs not only development classes, but also simple games.Parents should also show patience and perseverance - "sunny children" should be taught the skill of the game.
Everything starts with rattles and dice - put the toy in the hand of the baby, teach her to hold, and then use it.Experts believe that it is with such special children that you need to play games-poteshki( "Magpie-Crow"), finger games.Try to make the kid laugh during the game - it will also be an element of respiratory gymnastics.
It is best to buy baby toys from natural materials that will help improve tactile sensitivity, a child with Down's syndrome will learn to recognize different surfaces.You can do everything yourself - for example, wrap the handle of the rattle with a woolen thread, sew a bright pillowcase, connect several colored silk handkerchiefs around the corners.Excellent help will be moving toys - for example, modules on the crib.
As for musical toys, it is better to do without electronic music, which appears when you press the button.A child with Down syndrome should be played with a toy piano, ratchets, xylophone - the baby will develop a sense of rhythm, for which it is necessary to make movements with music.For example, with fast music, quickly and loudly stamped feet, during a slow melody - just simulate walking on the spot.
The development of a child with Down syndrome is the work of parents.Do not get hung up on this and every minute "torment" the baby with some exercises.Try to follow the recommendations of specialists, visit rehabilitation centers and special classes for parents - this will help to build your own training scheme.And the reward will be the arrival of a child with Down's syndrome in a comprehensive school or higher education institution.
Tsygankova Yana Aleksandrovna, medical reviewer, therapeutist of the highest qualification category