Sunday, February 6, 2011

Infants and Preschool Children

Medical care for infants with Down syndrome should include the same well-baby care that other children receive during the first years of life, as well as attention to some problems that are more common in children with Down syndrome. If heart, digestive, orthopedic or other medical conditions were identified during the neonatal period, these problems should continue to be monitored.

Children with Down syndrome may be developmentally delayed. A child with Down syndrome is often slow to turn over, sit, stand, and respond. This may be related to the child's poor muscle tone. Development of speech and language abilities may take longer than expected and may not occur as fully as parents would like. However, children with Down syndrome do develop the communication skills they need.

Parents of other children with Down syndrome are often valuable sources of information and support. Parents should keep in mind that children with Down syndrome have a wide range of abilities and talents, and each child develops at his or her own particular pace. It may take children with Down syndrome longer than other children to reach develop mental milestones, but many of these milestones will eventually be met. Parents should make a concerted effort not to compare the developmental progress of a child with Down syndrome to the progress of other siblings or even to other children with Down syndrome.

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