Child and Adolescent Development in Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is a chromosomal condition where the child has an extra chromosome. Down syndrome is one of the most common conditions affecting one in every 691babies born in the United states and over 400000 individuals live with the chromosomal condition in the United States. Down syndrome is more common in boys than in girls. Down Syndrome is very common in children with a mother over forty.
Every child is unique and develops at his or her own pace. Children with Down syndrome have a development whose rate has more variables than a child without Down syndrome. Anytime a child is taken to the pediatrician, the doctor checks their developmental process. A child with Down syndrome usually has developmental delays, with a higher ability in areas of social and adaptive skills.
The first years of every child’s life are a critical time for optimal development. Early intervention can maximize each child’s potential (Bruni, 2006). Some of the key people that can help early on in the development process are early childhood educators, health care professionals, occupational and physical therapists, speech pathologists and social workers. Working with these key people, early intervention can build on the child’s strengths to prevent patterns of developmental difficulties and to strengthen further development.
As an infant, children with Down syndrome can appear weak. They have now muscle tone and look to be floppy. This makes it harder for them to roll, sit, stand and eventually walk. This floppiness is called hypotonicity which is related to excessive joint hypermobility and ligament laxity ("Pediatrics," Feb).
Early intervention helps these children to roll, sit, stand and walk. They each move through the same developmental stages as other children but do it at their own pace. Therapy assists them and encourages them to engage in these gross motor activities (Bruni, 2006). Having the therapists work with the...