What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome—also known as trisomy 21 or trisomy G– is a chromosomal disorder characterized by the presence of an extra, unnecessary chromosome 21 in the genetic makeup of the individual. Down Syndrome causes impairments in cognitive functioning and differences in physical growth, specifically facial features.
What are some symptoms of Down Syndrome?
Children with Down Syndrome posses a variety of characteristics which differ from healthy children. Some characteristics are, but are not limited to, the following:
- A flat facial profile
- Upward slant to the eyes
- Small ears
- Protruding tongue
- Low muscle tone (known as hypotonia)
- Delays in achieving gross motor milestones (i.e. crawling, walking)
- Decreased growth patterns
- Difficulty with feeding
- Mild to moderate intellectual impairment
How can I help treat my child’s Down Syndrome?
Medical and therapeutic intervention are necessary and helpful for children with Down Syndrome. Though there is no cure for the syndrome, physical, occupational, speech and language therapists can greatly help children with Down Syndrome reach their full potential both developmentally and cognitively.
Our Approach and North Shore Pediatric Therapy
At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, we know that early intervention is key to helping children with Down Syndrome develop properly. Our team will determine the intensity and frequency of therapies, and we custom tailor each therapy to your child’s specific needs. Because we understand that conditions such as Down Syndrome affect both the patient and his/her family, we offer counseling services to help families cope with their loved one’s diagnoses. Additionally, speech-language pathologists, physical, occupational and behavioral therapists can help families learn how to create optimal learning and home environments in which their child can most successfully develop.