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How to Ensure Good Mental and Physical Health for a Child with Down Syndrome?

A baby with Down syndrome is born with an additional chromosome that causes delays in the mental and physical development of the child. Although this syndrome can’t be prevented, the associated health problems can be treated. For that, it’s a good idea to visit the best pediatrician in Hyderabad. Alongside any treatment or therapy for your child, you can take certain steps to help him/her cope with the syndrome better.

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How Does Down Syndrome Affect Children?

At birth, children with this condition are smaller than other babies. They usually grow at a slower speed than their peers and remain smaller than them.

Toddlers and older children may take time to speak properly and develop self-care skills, including dressing, feeding and toilet usage. The syndrome affects children’s ability to learn in various ways but they usually experience mild to moderate intellectual disability.

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Kids with down syndrome often have the following associated health problems:

  • Hypotonia or low muscle tone (causes kids to reach developmental milestones like crawling, sitting up and walking later than other children of the same age, and other problems like sucking and feeding issues, constipation and gastroesophageal reflux)
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Hearing loss and vision problems (like farsightedness, nearsightedness, crossed eyes and cataract) that affect language skills and learning
  • Thyroid problems
  • Intestinal and stomach problems including Celiac disease
  • Seizures
  • Breathing trouble including asthma and sleep apnoea
  • Obesity
  • Infections, including pneumonia and ear infections
  • Childhood leukaemia

How Can Parents Help Children With Down Syndrome?

Go for early intervention services to help your kid. Consider visiting the best paediatrician in Hyderabad for your child’s speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. These therapies can help your kid learn motor skills (feeding, walking, crawling, handwriting, dressing), language skills (speaking and developing vocabulary), social skills (eye contact, sharing, turn-taking, manners) and academic skills (counting, early reading).

Ensure to have your child screened for the associated medical problems. If any condition is detected, take your kid to the best paediatrician in Hyderabad specialised in treating the problem.

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Never compare your kid with Down syndrome to other children without/with the condition. Allow your kid to play with other children with/without the syndrome. Even you should make time to have fun, play, go out and read together.

As you work with teachers, therapists and doctors, focus on your kid’s requirements instead of the condition. Go through what your little one learns at school and see if the lessons can be worked into your life at home.

Be patient and when your child does a mistake, encourage him/her to try again and offer help instead of saying, “That’s wrong”. Have high expectations when your kid tries and learns something new.

Support your kid to do daily tasks on his/her own. Allow your kid to make sensible choices, take reasonable risks and solve problems. Guide them through these but don’t do things on their behalf.

For any concern related to your child’s condition, consider seeing a child specialist in Bangalore or Hyderabad who is specifically experienced in treating children with Down syndrome.

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