4 Facts About Down Syndrome Parents Should Know
On the popular level, people perceive those with Down syndrome to be extremely happy all the time. While you likely see a default to joy in your own child that gives life to everyone around them, constant happiness doesn’t tell the whole story.
People with Down syndrome experience life very differently from those without an extra chromosome. To learn about the struggles your child may face, consider these facts about Down syndrome parents should know.
Kids With Down Syndrome Experience Low Muscle Tone
Termed “hypotonia,” those with Down syndrome typically have chronically low muscle tone. This affects a surprising amount of their life. In the beginning, it’s not uncommon to have trouble using their mouth muscles to eat. Later on, diminished muscle inhibits the development of motor skills. This delays when they sit up, crawl, and walk, though they do hit these milestones eventually. Your child may also walk differently from you, as their gait is affected by how their muscles uniquely work together. As you work toward certain developmental markers, keep these limitations in mind.
They Often Have Bathrooming Troubles
Also because of low muscle tone, your kiddo may face bathrooming troubles. In general, Down syndrome contributes to incontinence in several ways. Muscular irregularities can obstruct their bowel movements and prevent them from fully emptying their bladder. Thus, they live with fecal and urinary incontinence. Thankfully, your doctor can help you create a successful bathrooming plan for the future.
They May Have Vision Deficiencies
Another fact about Down syndrome parents should know is your kid may need glasses to correct their vision. There’s a genetic pattern propensity for eye issues—farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism, and poor accommodation—with this condition. Though wearing glasses takes some getting used to, they will improve your child’s sight and promote good eye alignment.
Intellectual Disabilities Vary
Though intellectual disability is very common among people with Down syndrome, know that each person falls at a different point along the spectrum. Some have greater processing power than others, and others have higher or lower social aptitudes. In general, though, don’t confine your child based on perceived cognitive ability. Be ready for them to surprise you with their knowledge and perceptiveness.