Social stigma and lack of awareness are the only hindrances that stop children with Down Syndrome from having a more or less regular childhood. Caused by a chromosomal anomaly, it is one of the most common congenital disorders that children are born with.
If you are a parent of a kid with DS, here are some tips on how to raise your child.
- Do Your Homework
Once again, do not let your lack of knowledge play a factor in how you treat your child or perceive their disorder. The more you read and learn about Down Syndrome, the more exposure you will get about it, and the better parent you will be. Neither is DS rare nor is it difficult to raise a child with the disorder.
- Give Your Kid Everyday Chores
It is important to treat your child normally. Give them responsibilities and include them in everyday household chores. However, keep in mind their cognitive capacities. Divide up any complex chore into small steps and give repeated guidance.
- Trust Visual Aids
People with DS are visual learners. Their cognitive functions respond much better to visual aids than only audio instructions. Therefore, you must be ready to give practical demonstrations of the task you want them to do. Even while teaching, take the help of images and videos so that they can register the lessons better.
- Provide Positive Reinforcement
Any parent should keep in mind to provide positive reinforcement to their kids. It is especially important while parenting Down Syndrome children. They need constant encouragement and reassurance of their good work, and it helps them to stay motivated to keep learning and growing as well.
Do not lower expectations from your kid just because they have DS. Push them to do well academically within their capacity and be enthusiastic about their participation in extracurricular activities. Encourage participating in sports, partaking in quizzes, debates, and elocution, and taking up performing arts as well. Let nothing be a barrier.
- Work With Professionals
This is the most important aspect of parenting a kid with DS. You must never forego the importance of professional consultation. Irrespective of what you do at home, your child’s cognitive, behavioral, social, and other kinds of growth should be guided by a healthcare specialist. Take part in the counseling process and learn to know your kid moving beyond the label of Down Syndrome.
Remember to spend quality time with your child, offer them immediate corrective feedback, and above all, love and care for them no matter what.