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Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome is also known as Trisomy of chromosome 21.

It is a genetic chromosomal disorder that results in developmental and intellectual delays. Down syndrome is associated with developmental delay, misshaped bones in the upper part of the spine, slanted eyes, some facial features, and low muscle tone. Apart from this, a child with Down Syndrome may have mild to moderate learning and cognitive difficulties.

For children with down syndrome, the major aim of an Occupational therapist is to make them independent. It needs to be understood that, unlike other children, a child with Down syndrome would require more support and encouragement to grow as a productive citizen of a country.

Therefore, OT intervention starts from a very tender age for these children. To achieve the goal of independence, an occupational therapist assists the child in all major aspects of life.

Major aspects that are addressed by an Occupational Therapist include:

  • Self-care skills (feeding, dressing, grooming, etc.)
  • Fine and Gross motor skills
  • Skills related to school performance (eg: printing, cutting, etc.)
  • Play and leisure skills
  • Sensory Integration Activities

 

Activities that typically developing children learn naturally, a child with Down Syndrome would possess a significant challenge in doing it.

Pediatric occupational therapist identifies the components where the child is struggling and provides training, alternatives, and solutions. All this is then documented by writing and explaining to the parents an individualized treatment program which is child-specific and goal-oriented.

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