It is my experience that Down syndrome children are rigid and can be resistant and the "work around" for these behaviors is to have them come in for very brief and frequent sittings in order to acclimate them to me and the environment. Lots of labor for me and parents, but, oh so worth finding a channel for their children to learn.
Language development is typically impaired with a child who has a genetic disorder. When a "traditional" test of ability such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-5th Edition or the Stanford-Binet 5th Edition or many of the other popular tests are administered, language is a significant suppressor of performance.
I have yet to find a child with a language-free IQ that qualifies as being in the "intellectually disabled" range. Again, the sample is small, but I like our odds.
Attentional deficits, on the other hand, do interfere with performance and are not medically treated as frequently as I'd like to see. It is my opinion that ADHD should be treated if it qualifies as a functional impairment. Of course, attention deficits frequently co-occur with genetic disorders, but that does not mean that we should ignore them by saying, "Oh well, he has Down syndrome and this is what we can expect". Rubbish.
It is my caution, as always, that a highly skilled clinician, such as a child and adolescent psychiatrist, along with the rest of the child's treatment team, should make the decision to treat and should be involved in monitoring. Those children born with Down syndrome can have cardiac issues which have serious implications for treating ADHD.
FYI, Prozac is the medication of choice for treating a number of conditions including anxiety, depression, and obsessive behavior in children and adolescents.
Agree? Disagree? Regardless, these 21 families have taken on the risk for the rest of us. We need to thank them for their courage.
There are no guarantees in farming or in parenting. We just don't know "what" treatment or service or supplemental activities will trigger a cascade of growth.
If you don't take chances and have hope, will you make progress?
I'll just go ahead and let you answer that...
Do the best you can, Claudia
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