Down Syndrome causes weak muscle tone (hypotonia) and loose ligaments (ligament laxity).
The effect is a delay in turning over, sitting, standing, walking, etc..
Eventually a child with Down Syndrome will reach growth milestones of other children without Down Syndrome (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 2003).
Physical Milestones 2 – 3 years (Routh, 2004, p. 25) 3 – 5 years Copies a circle 9 – 10 months 1 – 3 years Builds a tower of two cubes 9 – 17 months 1 – 4 years Walks alone 9 – 16 months 1 – 3 years Stands alone 2 – 6 months 4 – 11 months Reaches out and grasps object 1- 4 months 3 - 9 months Holds head steady Other Children Child with Down Syndrome Milestone
According to the Stanford School of Medicine Down Syndrome Research Center:
Until recently cognitive aspects of the disorder were too complex to understand ...Our hypothesis is that the activity of these extra genes lead to cognitive impairments…each new research lead will be pursued as rapidly as possible. We intend to accelerate the application of research advance to the care of people with Down Syndrome (Stanford School of Medicine, 2006).
There is a wide range of communication abilities in children and adolescents with Down Syndrome.
Individuals with D.S. often understand more than they can express.
Vocabulary and social language are areas of strength.
Grammar and sequencing are areas of difficulty.
Intelligibility of speech is frequently a problem. Many children have problems with strength, timing, and coordination of muscle movements for speech due to hypotonia (National Down Syndrome Society,2002).
Like all children, progress for children with D.S. is influenced by family life and the parent’s child rearing skills.
O – 5 years : By 5 years of age most children with D.S. will be walking, toilet trained, dress and feed themselves with minimal help, if this is expected of them .
5 – 11 years : There is consistent evidence of significant gains in language, reading, writing, and arithmetic from full inclusion in mainstream schools.
11 – 16 years : Education makes a significant difference in the level of independence achieved in work, social, and leisure life, along with support from family, friends, and services (Bird, Buckley, & Sacks, 2001, Development Overviews section).