Coping With A Child With Down Syndrome
EDITOR: I know the topic of this blog is computers and technology, so excuse this tangent, but it comes from the heart and I think it needs to be said.
It’s your baby, a new life that you’ve created, and if he or she is going to be different from other kids around, it’s best to be prepared before your little one comes into this world. With prenatal screening available for Down Syndrome today, parents are able to plan ahead to cater to the special needs of the child from the moment he or she makes their appearance. It’s not easy taking care of someone for the rest of their lives, but parents with a strong moral fiber and deeply religious views do it, with help from doctors and other caregivers.
Down syndrome children, besides looking different, are at risk for a number of health issues – they are prone to congenital heart diseases, dementia, skeletal problems, eye and ear problems, intestinal problems, thyroid troubles and many other infectious diseases because of their poor immune systems. Parents must be prepared to deal with emergencies as and when they arise, sometimes on a daily basis.
Caring for a child born with Down syndrome requires a great deal of patience and dedication. You cannot let yourself lose control and shout at or beat the children when they seem particularly troublesome. First of all, they don’t understand why you’re upset and angry, and most of all, you loss of control does not serve any purpose. In fact, it may have the opposite effect and your child may start acting up more after your outburst.
Children with this condition have low muscle tone and often require physical and occupational therapy from a committed therapist who must find the time to come to your home everyday and work with your child. This helps in the physical development of your child, which is already slower than in normal children. Your child will also need speech therapy to be able to talk a little, and as they grow older, will need to learn how to look after their own needs.
You need to consider what your child will do when you are no longer around to offer them the constant care you’ve been providing all their lives. There are community homes for adults with this condition, so check out your options when you’re healthy so that your child is not left helpless at any time.
Your lifestyle will undergo a drastic change from the moment a Down syndrome baby enters your world – you will have to give up most things you took for granted till now, like going out to dinner and a movie or waking up late on a Sunday morning. If you can afford a full or part-time caregiver, you must consider employing one so that you can take some time off to spend on yourself. After all, when it’s a lifetime commitment, you must do what it takes to stay sane and be able to cope with it day in and day out.