WHAT IS DOWN’S SYNDROME?

Down’s Syndrome is a condition caused by the presence of an extra chromosome, it is, as of yet, unclear what causes this additional chromosome but it happens at random chance at conception.

Characteristics of Down’s Syndrome typically include:

  • Low tone
  • Delayed physical development
  • Distinctive facial features
  • Learning disability
  • Delayed developmental milestones
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Impaired senses
  • Reduced strength
  • Poor fine motor skills

HOW DOES DOWN’S SYNDROME IMPACT ON ME?

The severity of the difficulties can vary dramatically between individuals, but some common practical difficulties include:

  • Poor grip
  • Poor handwriting
  • Difficulties in learning at school
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Difficulty engaging with sport

People with Down’s Syndrome are able to live fulfilled, meaningful lives, with more people with Down’s Syndrome obtaining meaningful employment, leaving the family home and developing loving relationships (Down’s Syndrome Association, 2016).

HOW CAN MANCHESTER OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES HELP?

It has been suggested that early intervention is key to assisting individuals to achieve their developmental milestones such as sitting, crawling, standing, feeding etc.  We at Manchester Occupational Therapy Services would work with the individual and the family to help improve work on fine and gross motor skills to improve muscle tone.

As the child gets older, occupational therapy input is still relevant to help improve independence with self-care activities such as getting dressed, fastening zips and buttons etc.

We can also assist the person in the classroom; we can recommend exercise to help improve handwriting ability, assess for alternate IT and assess seating and posture.

An individual with Down’s Syndrome may also need occupational therapy input in adult life to help with finding and maintaining employment, developing independent living skills and engaging in leisure activities (Yamkovenko, n.d.)

Down’s Syndrome Association (2016). What is Down’s Syndrome?

Yamkovenko, S. (n.d.). The Role of OT With Persons With Down Syndrome. American Association of Occupational Therapy.