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Down’s syndrome- The birth of a unique child

Contributed by Dr. Suruchi Goyal, Consultant – Paediatrics and Paediatric Endocrinology, Columbia Asia Hospital Whitefield

Imagine a world where every unique quality of child is appreciated with open heart. A world where no kid is compared to one another because of their qualities and all their traits are acknowledged. It is said that every child is unique in their own way. They strike difference from each other in every way possible. And in order to keep this uniqueness alive every parent strives to give the best out of the lot to their children.

This same applies to those children who are down with down’s syndrome. Kids with this syndrome are equally active and unique like any other child. In fact, the doctors who deal with these kids consider them as gifted as these children are the most innocent one’s existing on this planet earth.

what and how does this syndrome make these children unique?

Out of all the myths that exist with this syndrome the first one that needs to be striked out is the one “Where a mother has no role to play in giving this defect to their children while carrying.” The actual fact is this syndrome is a genetic disorder in which the cell division occurs abnormally resulting in additional genetic substance from Chromosome 21. This additional genetic material leads to developmental issues causing down’s syndrome.

It is not inherited, neither it occurs because of drinking or not eating properly. It only occurs because of improper division of genetic material.

The method to detect this syndrome-

Every pregnant woman is suggested two take up 2 tests while pregnant which is Screening tests and Diagnostic tests which helps in detecting the syndrome in the child before delivery of the infant.  If the reports after the tests does show that the child has down’s syndrome, then a team of medical experts are required that can provide medical assistance for better development of the child with down’s syndrome. The team should consist of –

·         Paediatric cardiologist, gastroenterologist, endocrinologist and neurologist

·         Neo-Natal specialist

·         Physical therapist

·         Speech therapist

Symptoms of down syndrome-          

·         Compressed facial appearance

·         Undersized head Dwarfed neck

·         Obtruding tongue

·         Unusually formed ears

·         Low muscle tone (Hypotonia)

·         Overall stunted growth

·         Excessive flexibility

·         Tiny white spots on the coloured part (iris) of the eye

Parenting tips:

·         Build a support system

·         Discuss about your challenges

·         Always carry the list of requirements and medications

·         Maintain your physical and mental health

·         Get a routine and introduce the same to the child

·         Go for regular check ups

·         Let it not effect yourself

·         Stay strong and consistent with the child

·         Lastly, but very important give yourself apt time.

Treatment:

The above mentioned tests might help in planning the future for the child who has this syndrome. With early diagnosis a lot of differences can be noticed in the new-born child. As every kid with this syndrome is unique, the treatment suggestions will change accordingly. The treatments required for the kid will also change as per their age and the complications that they will or might develop further.

Even though these children with down syndrome have medical complications, but they are no different from other children when it comes to them being naughty, playful or talented. Each child with this syndrome has the ability to thrive and grasp matters in a perspective that can be totally out of the box. So, parents stay tension free and let your unique child spread their young wings and explore the world from their own eyes. 

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