F. Treatment of Down Syndrome
- Early intervention is key to a better prognosis. Based on the results of the assessment, a treatment plan is built for the child to meet their developmental needs. The plan is designed to teach you and your child techniques to help them reach their full potential in all areas of development and lead independent lives. Therapies will help the child cope with the disabilities associated with Down syndrome.
Medical professionals may be required depending on the presence of associated medical conditions (for example, cardiologist, endocrinologist, geneticist, hearing and eye specialists).
1. Speech therapy: Children with down syndrome often have a language delay and/or unclear speech, they do not communicate at the level of their age. Speech therapy will help the child improve their communication skills.
2. Physical therapy: This involves exercises and activities to strengthen their muscles and improve motor skills. Children with Down syndrome have poor muscle tone, physiotherapy will help in such cases.
3. Occupational therapy: This helps the child improve their gross motor skills, fine motor skills. They also learn to carry out basic self-care tasks like wiping the nose, washing hands, toileting, feeding oneself, wearing clothes, and other activities of daily living.
4. Behavioral therapy: Some children with Down syndrome are easily frustrated, impulsive, etc due to underlying issues. Behavior therapy is helpful in managing behavioral difficulties and emotional regulation. The psychologist/ mental health professional will teach your child ways to cope with the difficulties and to build good interpersonal relationships.
5. Special education: Special educators are trained to employ specific teaching strategies to help the child understand and learn. Classes are modified based on the needs of the child. A special educator would be able to form an Individualised Educational Plan (IEP) for the child, which will focus on functional academics.
All the above-mentioned therapy services may not be recommended to every child with Down syndrome, because each child is different and the presenting symptoms and needs vary from child to child. Please enroll your child in such therapies only if suggested by a practicing professional.