What is Down syndrome?
A child with Down syndrome is a blessing, who brings their own incredible and unique blend of love and humour into their family.
Yet at the same time there are often numerous challenges to face. For example, speech and language difficulties, sensory integration, autism, health matters and educational delays.
Down syndrome is a developmental disorder caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.
This disorder is caused by an error in cell division that results in an extra 21st chromosome. Having an extra copy of this chromosome means that each gene may be producing more protein product than normal.
Cells seem to tolerate this better than having not enough protein, or having altered protein due to a mutation in the DNA sequence.
The condition leads to impairments in both cognitive ability and physical growth that range from mild to moderate developmental disabilities.
Through a series of screenings and tests, Down syndrome can be detected before and after a baby is born.
The only factor known to affect the probability of having a baby with Down syndrome is maternal age. That is, less than one in 1,000 pregnancies for mothers less than 30 years of age results in a baby with Down syndrome.
For mothers who are 44 years of age, about 1 in 35 pregnancies results in a baby with Down syndrome. Because younger women generally have more children, about 75 – 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to younger women.
What are the symptoms of Down syndrome?
Despite the variability in Down syndrome, individuals with Down syndrome have a widely recognized characteristic appearance.
Typical facial features include a flattened nose, small mouth, protruding tongue, small ears, and upward slanting eyes. The inner corner of the eyes may have a rounded fold of skin. The hands are short and broad with short fingers, and may have a single palmar crease.
White spots on the coloured part of the eye called Brushfield spots may be present. Babies with Down syndrome often have decreased muscle tone at birth. Normal growth and development is usually delayed and often individuals with Down syndrome don’t reach the average height or developmental milestones of unaffected individual.
From the day your baby is born there are many things you can do to help. An infant with Down syndrome is eligible for an early intervention program.
Early Intervention provides physical, occupational, development and speech therapy, additionally they can assist with networking and local resources.
As your child moves into the pre-school and elementary grades, developing an excellent Individualized Education Plan (IEP), becomes important.
At Nadine Brown Biokinetics we work with children who have articulation delays and disorders. Each child is evaluated to determine strengths and weaknesses and address any family concerns to develop a treatment plan unique to each child’s needs.
Other additional therapy include:
- Speech & Language Therapy
- Occupational Therapy – Focus is placed on the development of individual skills for daily activities at home and in school. The aim is to improve cognitive, physical, sensory and motor skills – enhancing the child’s self-esteem and sense of accomplishment.
- Music Therapy – Music Therapy develops the unique response of each child to help them reach developmental goals. Evidence based music interventions are used to work on emotional, social and motor skills to ensure creative potential is fostered, encouraging self-expression, autonomy and self-esteem.
- Play Therapy – Play therapy has many benefits. It helps children with expressing their feelings in constructive ways and develop coping skills and resilience as well as developing problem solving skills. Other benefits include the building of self-esteem and confidence, supporting emotional healing and developing inner strength.
Contact your biokinetics today to see how they can assist you.Follow us