Down Syndrome can be found in 1 out of 800 individuals and poses various physical, developmental, cognitive, and medical challenges in the affected individuals. This presents unique fitness needs for people with Down Syndrome. World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on 21 March everywhere to raise public awareness of Down Syndrome.
There are many things you can do to help people learn more about Down Syndrome on World Down Syndrome Day. You can organize an event at work, donate to a fundraiser, put up posters at school, wear different socks with your friends, talk about Down Syndrome with people you know, and share social media posts with your followers. Despite the growing awareness about Down Syndrome, this field is yet to be researched and studied intensively.
What is Down Syndrome?
If you are wondering what Down Syndrome is, we have you covered. Individuals with Down Syndrome have an extra copy of chromosome 21, which means they have a total of 47 chromosomes, instead of 46, which is present in normal individuals. In some individuals, Down Syndrome can take other forms. For instance, chromosome 21 may be located on other chromosomes or body cells may have a mixture of 46 and 47 chromosomes.
Individuals born with Down Syndrome experience a plethora of endocrine, medical, musculoskeletal, cognitive and developmental limitations. The purpose of this guide is to explore the strengths of these affected individuals, despite the limitations and complications they suffer from.
Are kids with Down Syndrome different?
Individuals with Down Syndrome are quite alike their typical peers and not different. Kids and teenagers with Down Syndrome excel in various fields and accomplish their goals like others do. They too dream and hope for a brighter future.
It is true that individuals with Down Syndrome experience cognitive complications, which is why they face learning difficulties. This delays their development in various fields. If you are nurturing a kid with Down Syndrome, you can help them utilize their potential by focusing more on their strengths.
Is Down Syndrome a Learning Disability?
Most individuals with Down Syndrome have IQs that fall in the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability.
The intellectual level of individuals with Down Syndrome usually falls in the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability. Having an extra chromosome may indicate a genetic disorder but it cannot indicate or define one’s intellectual capabilities. We mustn't forget that children born with Down Syndrome are much like their peers and possess a wide variety of skills and talents. Instead of treating them differently and constantly reminding them of their learning disabilities, we must focus on improving their strengths furthermore.
However, we must keep in mind that these individuals develop at a different rate than the rest. It might so happen that their peers meet an educational goal faster than them. This however doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t achieve their goals at all. Similar to all students, kids with Down Syndrome have a wide range of behaviour, abilities, and physical development.
Strengths of kids with Down Syndrome
Individuals affected by Down Syndrome usually grow at a slower pace than others. This means that these individuals reach a certain stage later and tend to stay there for a longer time before they step ahead. Due to this, there seems to be an ever-increasing gap between kids with Down Syndrome and their friends. The degree of gap differs depending upon the area of development concerned, like social skills, motor skills, self-help, cognitions, etc. this creates the need for a tailored learning profile meant to discover the unique strengths and weaknesses of these kids and cater to their individual needs.
People who oversee nurturing and homeschooling kids with Down Syndrome must utilize the right strategies so that they can develop their abilities further and learn new skills faster. This will also help them mix with other children seamlessly in school, giving them a feeling of acceptance.
You already know that your child is amazing, but it's good to remember that the same qualities that make them great can also help them learn more. Here are some learning strengths in particular that kids with Down Syndrome usually possess:
Certainly, your kid with Down Syndrome will face learning challenges and that will require you to carefully choose the right materials, curriculum, and assistive technologies to help them learn effectively while minimizing the impact of their challenges on their growth. Till date, medical science has not been able to come up with a cure for Down Syndrome, though there are ways which can help your kid utilize his talents and potential, despite the limitations that this condition possesses.
There are various ways to promote your child’s mental and physical well-being. For instance, opting for physical therapy to facilitate coordination and movement, speech therapy for enhanced communication skills, enrolling in special education and awareness programs, etc.