Perhaps my mother will never remember but the memory still sticks in my mind. One afternoon, my sister was crying and mom was singing to her while holding her finger to calm her down. The song was “Peter and John went to pray, they found a lame man… he was leaping and jumping and praising God…” and she could not stop crying. I walked towards them, picked my sister, hugged her and she calmed down.
We all love being shown affection. Love brings us joy. Likewise, people with Down Syndrome need love, affection and most importantly viewed as people. Down syndrome is only a condition.
It does not mean that these people cannot do stuff on their own. How we address and treat them also matters. Learn to love your child as you would love any other child.
Get therapy e.g. speech, physical and educational therapy. Most children with Down syndrome may have problems with speaking or pronunciation. They have slow intellectual development. They also have problems with their bones and joints. Seeking therapy as soon as possible can help in the child’s growth.
Do not underestimate your child’s potential. These children have talents, something that they enjoy doing. Spending time and playing with your child will help you pick these up early.
Acknowledge their feelings, both positive and negative. Every parent should make an effort to spend time with their child. This will help you to note any changes emotional or behavioral. Some behavioral changes may include;
Wandering and running off- To ensure the safety of your child, ensure that doors have good locks, door alarms and you can have visual signs for them to read e.g. STOP.
Stubborn/ opposition behavior– sometimes, such behavior may result from communication frustration. See www.ndss.org/resources/managingbehavior/