There has been estimated that nearly 23,000-29,000 children in India are born with Down Syndrome annually. There has been estimated that nearly 23,000-29,000 children in India are born with Down Syndrome annually. It means that at least 1 in every 650 to 1,000 children is born with this condition. Down syndrome is a lifelong disease that needs proper management to have a good life expectancy.
What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome is a life-long condition causing physical defects, intellectual impairment, developmental delays and behavioural problems due to a genetic anomaly called trisomy. We usually have 23 pairs of chromosomes, i.e. 46 chromosomes. Each carries specific information about our traits and characteristics. Down syndrome comprises an extra copy of the 21 chromosomes. So, the total number of chromosomes becomes 47. This extra chromosome contributes to the defects. The syndrome affects vary from mild to severe.
What Are the Signs?
Children with Down syndrome have distinct physical features that help in identification. However, the features may not be prominent enough in mild down syndrome. Some features you may notice are:
- Flat nasal bridge
- Small head
- Short neck
- Protruding tongue and broad palate
- Short stocky physique with small fingers
- Hyper flexibility
- Muscular hypotonia
- Ring of iris speckles – Brushfield’s spots.
- Cognitive disability
- Language delay
- Impaired memory
Evaluation By Continua Kids
Down syndrome does not have any quick solution. It requires continuous efforts and management to help the child function normally as they grow. So we need to monitor their growth along with the therapies constantly.
Some other tests to be done regularly are:
- Eye and vision tests to detect congenital cataracts and glaucoma.
- Hearing tests using auditory evoked potential testing (before age six months).
- Regular neck x-rays for atlantoaxial subluxation.
- Echocardiography for genetic heart diseases
- Test for congenital GI obstruction or Intestinal motility disorder.
- Thyroid test
Keeping a record of the developmental milestones also determine how far the therapy is helping.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
We believe that multidisciplinary care is the best mode for down syndrome. Various forms of therapies can be used in early intervention programmes and continued later in life to promote development to full potential, independence, and productivity. We can also do mediations depending on the child’s specific needs. We have the best doctor for specially-abled kids, who would provide the following therapies in down syndrome cases.
Physiotherapy: We have the best physiotherapists who can help with physical challenges like low muscle tone and develop walking patterns for avoiding long-term issues.
Occupational Therapy: Our therapist will help your child manage to do everyday tasks along with self-care activities like eating, getting dressed, writing and using a computer.
Speech-Language Therapy: Children with Down syndrome often take longer to learn to speak than their peers, but they still want to communicate. Our speech-language therapist can assist them in developing early communication skills such as sound imitation. Until they learn to speak, the therapist will also teach alternative modes of communication such as sign language and pictures
Emotional and Behavioural therapies: Emotional and behavioural therapies seek meaningful responses to both desirable and undesirable behaviours. Children with Down syndrome may become frustrated due to communication difficulties, develop compulsive behaviours, or suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD) and other mental health issues. Our therapists try to analyse why a child is acting out, devise methods and strategies for avoiding or preventing these situations, and teach better or more positive responses to certain situations.
At Continua Kids, we have also designed a special booklet for parents on raising their kids with down syndrome. Make sure to get your hands on that if you want a comprehensive management guide for down syndrome at home.
For more support and guidance, get in touch with us. Visit our centre or book an online appointment.
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Yes, a child with down syndrome can attend regular school. Early intervention and preschool skills development will help the child blend in. Also, special education programmes integrated with classroom studies will benefit.
There is no complete cure for down syndrome as the disorder is genetic. But with regular therapies and growth monitoring from early childhood will help the person lead a fruitful life.
Down syndrome can be life-threatening in a way that many babies born with the condition have congenital heart defects, immune disorders, gastrointestinal defects and so on. Infants will either die within the first year or live up to 65-70 years.
Intervention can start as early as a few weeks after birth. A therapist, for example, may assist an infant in breastfeeding because breastfeeding can strengthen muscles used for speech.
Down syndrome is a genetic defect, although it is not inherited. An error causes it in cell division during the fetus’s early development. But in the case of translocating downs syndrome, any parents may pass it to their kid.
are required for special children under one roof.