Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Things I wish I would have known when our baby got diagnosed with Down syndrome - Part 2

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Did you know that we were told not to read any literature about Down syndrome that is more than 10 years old?

People used to think that individuals with Down syndrome were not able to learn.
They thought they were 'trainable', but not 'teachable'.

It's not too long ago that parents of babies with Down syndrome were told to send them to an institution and forget about them.

Since it's not too long ago that these things happened, it's best to stay away from outdated information. Therefore, just looking around randomly for information is not always helpful. I think the NDSS website is a great start for people looking for accurate information on Down syndrome.

We have had a lot of help after our little girl was born, and even some beforehand, in different ways:

There are several therapies that help individuals with Down syndrome to reach their fullest potential:

Physical Therapy
Occupational Therapy
Speech and Language Therapy.

At the moment our little girl gets Physical Therapy, and the plan is to start Speech Therapy around 6 months. That might sound funny, but apparently even the way you feed your baby influences the way they use the muscles that are used for speaking down the road. 

So far little Miss N has reached all her milestones in time. She is smiling, cooing, rolling over, reaching for toys, etc.

Therapy sort of helps to stay ahead of the game.

We know that there will be a point that she will show developmental delays, but it really helps to know that she is getting all the help she needs to develop at her best potential. 

They make it easy to incorporate therapy in our daily lives, it's not like we have to do exercises all day long. For example, each time when we change her, she does a baby "sit-up", or we play on the floor to strengthen her neck and tummy muscles. Even her big sisters can help, which is a lot of fun.

I sort of dreaded the thought of therapists running in and out all the time, but guess what? It's not bad at all, we really like our therapists and we enjoy doing whatever we can do to help our girl.

We have more resources in our community, like Down syndrome playgroups, and even activities  for parents of children with Down syndrome, lectures, etc. All these things have been very helpful to us.

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1 comment:

Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma said...

I hear ya on the therapy front. We had four OTs/STs, etc. in and out of here 4 days a week when my son was in EI.

We are in the autism camp of special needs, but I am right there with ya, sister!