Most individuals do not know about Down Syndrome until their child or member of the family is born with the condition.This has led to a lot questions surrounding this condition to be asked frequently. In my case, I understood what this condition was long after my sister had passed on. Interestingly, I did not learn what I know from my parents. I learnt in school, books and much later, the internet.
I realized that there a lot of people who have resulted to the internet to ask questions that they can’t seem to get answers for. The strangest thing I discovered was that most doctors learn about this condition by interacting with the parents to these individuals.
However, in as much as this could be true, you can’t blame the doctors. This condition is not as common and probably each case they encounter is different. I decided to compile a list of Frequently asked questions on Down Syndrome and hopefully, this will be useful.
I’m I responsible for my child being born with Down Syndrome?
No you didn’t. Down Syndrome is caused by having extra genetic material in the cells. This is caused by an error in Subdivision in the egg or sperm cells. The cause of the extra genetic material that causes Down Syndrome is not known.
Does my child need special care?
There is no special treatment for individuals with Down Syndrome. However, these individuals may require treatments like surgeries, regular visits to the physiotherapists. The paediatrician will also advice you as you go.
What do I need to incorporate in my care routine to assist my baby?
Immediately your baby is born and they are diagnosed with Down Syndrome, early interventions must start. Some of these interventions include but are not limited to; Physical, occupational and speech therapists.
Join a support group of parents with children living with Down syndrome. They are the best source of information. They have been in the phase that you are trying to get over.
I paused this question to parents in a certain support group and their responses were very helpful. Parents use every opportunity they can to explain to the siblings, especially if they are young.
Sometimes the siblings will want to know why their brother or sister hasn’t achieved a certain milestone e.g. walking like other age mates. Take this opportunity to explain to the children what Down Syndrome is and that the slow milestone achievement is as a result of the condition. Have these simple conversations around the condition as often as you can.
Involve the children all events and occasions that raise awareness on Down Syndrome. Ask them to invite their friends too. The more and correct information they have, the better advocates we will have in future.
Who is more susceptible to Down Syndrome?
There is no one on this planet that was immune to Down syndrome at conception. Anyone can be born with Down syndrome regardless of their race, ethnicity, socio-economic status.
Are people with Down syndrome different from the rest of us?
They are not different. These individuals are slow in achieving certain milestones in their lives. However, they get there eventually. This does not make them any different from us.
Do Individuals with Down Syndrome die young?
No. Thanks to research and medical improvements, the life span of these individuals has improved up to 60 to 80 years.
Is there a cure for Down syndrome?
No there is no cure.
Will my child achieve all the milestones normal babies achieve?
Lastly, children with Down Syndrome will achieve all the milestones e.g. walking, talking etc. The only thing that may be different is the fact that they take time to achieve these milestones. They will, however, get there eventually.