DOWN SYNDROME 102: CHANGING THE NARRATIVE

  • Screening for congenital heart diseases as this occurs in about 40-50% cases and may require a surgical procedure for correction
  • Periodic thyroid function test
  • Periodic visual and auditory examinations
  • Monitoring for sleep apnea
    Screening for gastroesophageal reflux, difficulties swallowing, coeliac diseases
  • Periodic teeth checks
  • Test for cognitive functions
  • Healthy lifestyle: Taking care of your health as well as that of your child is important. Eat right, exercise appropriately and learn to manage stress
  • Keep learning about the disease and seek help: It is impossible to know all there is to know about the syndrome at once. So keep learning, ask the right people for help.
  • Build the right team and support system: It is important to have the right people on board. Depending on your child’s peculiar needs, paediatric specialists in various fields such as cardiology, endocrinology, neurology, ear, nose and throat etc. could make up your team. Also, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists may be required. It may be comforting to link up and join support groups with members who have children with down syndrome. Furthermore, involve willing family members and friends in the care of the child to ease the burden on yourself. Talk about your challenges and seek help when you need it.
  • Have leisure activities: Have personal time for yourself. Go out with friends, plan outings. Also, engage your child in social and leisure activities.
  • Encourage independence: With practice, your child can carry out some tasks independently. Encourage them to pick their clothes, dress up, pack their lunch etc. Create a daily routine for your child and help them to prepare for adulthood.

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