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.
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