Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Caring for a child with Down Syndrome

  • Love your child as you would any other. Focus first on the fact that this is your child, and then on the special need.

  • Children with Down syndrome often are affectionate and joyous. Learn from them how to enjoy life.

  • Don't underestimate your child's potential. Don't set any upper limits, and you may be surprised.

  • Play with your child.

  • Get therapy -- speech, occupational, physical and educational -- as soon as possible.

  • Make sure your child's school follows her IEP (Individualized Educational Program). This means staying on top of the situation and becoming a strong advocate for your child.

  • Check that the educational material challenges your child, and that the process of doing the work and taking the tests is adapted to your child's learning style. For example, one child who couldn't comprehend the difference between true and false could choose the correct answer when the question was worded differently.

  • Integrate your child into the community as much as possible.

  • Follow through if your pediatrician recommends that your child see medical specialists.

  • Create positive experiences for your child in many different environments and with many different people.

  • Say your child's name often, especially when you are giving praise.

  • When professionals come to your home to work with your child, learn as much as you can from them. Find out about other resources that would be helpful and ways you can implement some of the things they do to challenge your child.

  • Create an environment that suits your child's needs and abilities. Encourage movement and exploration.

  • Encourage your child to play with toys of different sizes and textures.

  • Accept that your child will develop at her own speed and in her own way.

  • Understand that you may have to repeat an activity many times before she can do it well.
  • Preventing Down Syndrome

    Experts recommend genetic counseling for persons with a family history of Down syndrome who wish to have a baby.
    A woman's risk of having a child with Down syndrome increases as she gets older. The risk is significantly higher among women age 35 and older.
    Couples who already have a baby with Down syndrome have an increased risk of having another baby with the condition.
    Tests such as nuchal translucency ultrasound, amniocentesis, or chorionic villus sampling can be done on a fetus during the first few months of pregnancy to check for Down syndrome. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends offering Down syndrome screening tests to all pregnant women, regardless of age.

    Monday, July 29, 2013

    Identifying Down Syndrome

    Every human being has 46 chromosomes arranged in 23 pairs. Each man's sperm has 23 chromosomes and so does each woman's egg, so that when conception occurs and the sperm fertilizes the egg, a new human being with a full complement of chromosomes is formed.

    Sometimes mistakes occur and give rise to what are described as chromosomal abnormalities. Down syndrome is one of these. At conception, instead of one number 21 chromosome from the father and one from the mother coming together, a third chromosome creeps in and is then duplicated in every cell of the baby's body. Down syndrome, more accurately called trisomy 21, is the most common chromosomal abnormality, occurring approximately once in every 700 births.

    How to identify Down Syndrome?

    Before Birth:
    Test which looks for traces of fetal DNA in the mother's blood — is highly accurate.
    Screening tests: There are ultrasound tests, blood tests and a combination of the two. They just tell you how high your risk is.

    After Birth:
    A doctor can often make an initial diagnosis of Down syndrome at birth based on how the baby looks. The doctor may hear a heart murmur when listening to the baby's chest with a stethoscope.
    A blood test can be done to check for the extra chromosome and confirm the diagnosis.
    Other tests that may be done include:
    • Echocardiogram to check for heart defects (usually done soon after birth)
    • ECG
    • X-rays of the chest and gastrointestinal tract

    Sunday, July 28, 2013

    The Hunger Games- can kids see?

    Jennifer Lawrence, in addressing the question of violence in The Hunger Games, told The Press Association, "We weren't going to make a watered-down version of what we love. If you take the violence and brutality out of the movie, you take the entire heart out of it."
    But is it too violent for young kids?
    Time film critic Mary Pols says she won't be taking her 8-year-old son to see it.

    However, sure The Hunger Games has been a great read and is coming up in theaters in Nov 2013. We went for a show on Hunger Games today and I am looking forward to the action.