Living with Down Syndrome

Living with down syndrome is no easy task; neither for the patient nor for the family members. In the initial stages, everyday seems to be a struggle. However, through continuous therapy and counseling, the patient and his/her family members learn to start coping with down syndrome. The first step to coping with down syndrome is accepting that the condition is incurable, but is something that you need to learn to live with and overcome. Being able to do so is half the battle won. For patients living with down syndrome, regular check-ups are a must. Any change in health conditions must be reported to the doctor immediately so that problems may be nipped in the bud. Another word of caution is that one must refrain from any form of self-medication. This is due to the fact that doing so could actually do the patient more harm than good. Refrain from taking over-the-counter drugs in order to alleviate any symptoms. Inform your doctor instead and take prescription drugs only after the doctor asks you to do so.

A large part of surviving and coping with down syndrome involves coming to terms with the condition and accepting it. This is a lot easier said than done and the diagnosis can be particularly devastating to parents. Acceptance comes with time and through interaction with others who share your plight. Over time you will also learn coping strategies and techniques to overcome and live with the condition as normally as possible. Support groups provide the best opportunity for connection and sharing of experiences, information and comfort. Don't hesitate to seek help when you need it, and when you feel yourself buckling under the pressure. Help can be sought both online and at physical locations. Here are some websites that will help you connect:

  1. National Down Syndrome Society
  2. National Association for Down Syndrome

Frequently asked questions
  1. Melissa A. Davidson, Primary Care for Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome, Pediatric Clinics of North America, Volume 55, Issue 5, October 2008, Pages 1099-1111, ISSN 0031-3955, 10.1016/j.pcl.2008.07.001.
  2. Iris Teresa Schapira, Alejandra María Ferrari, Norma Aspres, Ana Belén Guardiol, Ana Inés Antoniutti, Roxana Bedacarratz, Down Syndrome: An Assessment of Infant Psychomotor Development and Its Impact on Social and Familial Integration, International Medical Review on Down Syndrome, Volume 11, Issue 1, March 2007, Pages 2-8, ISSN 2171-9748, 10.1016/S2171-9748(07)70043-0.
  3. D.J. Fidler, Down Syndrome, In: Editors-in-Chief:  Marshall M. Haith and Janette B. Benson, Editor(s)-in-Chief, Encyclopedia of Infant and Early Childhood Development, Academic Press, San Diego, 2008, Pages 422-429, ISBN 9780123708779, 10.1016/B978-012370877-9.00053-0