Down's syndrome occurs when you are born with an extra chromosome (which happens by chance) before you are born. This is not something that is controlled or triggered, and this doesn't run in the family.
People who have Down's syndrome will have a form of learning disability and everyone has different levels of abilities. Some might be very independent, whilst others may need full time care.
People with Down's syndrome will often experience delays in motor development which can therefore further affect cognitive development. This may reduce their chances to explore and learn things that other children may learn at that age.
Down's syndrome can also cause delays in learning the spoken language, sentence structure and number skills.
How can you help a child with Down's syndrome? (Note that this can vary from person to person).
- Routine setting so that they feel comfortable and settled
- Demonstrate how to do things instead of just giving instructions
- Praise them when they learn something new
- Stay calm and speak clearly
- Songs, playtime and reading books is particularly great for children to encourage learning sounds and words
- Look out for changes in mood or behaviour because they might struggle to communicate how they feel
What you should NOT do with children who have Down's syndrome:
- Do not talk down to them
- Do not just speak with parents/carers (speak to the person with Down's syndrome)
- Do not use offensive, outdated language
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