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What is Down Syndrome? CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

What is Down Syndrome? CBT Kenya

Down syndrome is a lifelong condition. Although it can’t be cured, doctors know more about it now than ever. If your child has it, getting the right care early on can make a big difference in helping them live a full and meaningful life. People born with Down syndrome face some physical and mental challenges throughout life. They typically have distinctive body and facial features that set them apart. They are more likely to develop slowly, and are more at risk for some medical conditions.

The risk of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increases as women grow older. Women aged 35 and older are more likely to have their pregnancy affected by the syndrome. This disorder can’t be prevented, but parents can take steps that may reduce the risk. The older the mother, the higher the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome. Women can reduce the risk of Down syndrome by giving birth before age 35.

There is no single, standard treatment for Down syndrome. Treatments are based on each individual’s physical and intellectual needs as well as his or her personal strengths and limitations.

  • Children with Down syndrome often learn to speak later than their peers. A speech-language therapist can help them develop the early skills necessary for communication, such as imitating sounds. The therapist also may help an infant breastfeed because breastfeeding can strengthen muscles that are used for speech.
  • Physical therapy is important, especially early in a child’s life, because physical abilities lay the foundation for other skills. The ability to turn over, crawl, and reach helps infants learn about the world around them and how to interact with it.
  • In support groups you can talk with other parents about their experiences living with Down syndrome. It’s a great way to share practical advice on coping with the condition, its ups-and-downs, frustrations and joys. You’ll find that you’re not alone.
  • Encourage independence. Your child’s abilities may be different from other children’s abilities, but with your support and some practice your child may be able to perform tasks such as packing lunch, managing hygiene and dressing, and doing light cooking and laundry.
  • Learn about educational options for school. Depending on your child’s needs, that may mean attending regular classes (mainstreaming), special education classes or both. With your health care team’s recommendations, work with the school to understand and choose appropriate options.

Symptoms of Down Syndrome

  • Individuals with down syndrome are borne with many abnormalities. They are found to have physical and mental disabilities.
  • Additionally, they have poor immunity and are prone to get many diseases. Most of them reach developmental milestones at a later age than normal.
  • Many times they are found to be borne with congenital heart defects, thyroid disease, sleep apnea, gastrointestinal defects. They are more susceptible to get diseases like leukemia and Alzheimer’s.
  • People with down syndrome can be easily identified by their physical attributes and facial features. After they are borne different symptoms start appearing. Infants may be of normal size but as they grow slowly, their height remains much less than those of same age.
  • They may also be behind on cognitive markers like language and speech development. Some children may also have behavioral issues like short attention spans, poor concentration and impulsive behavior.


Treatment for Down syndrome varies. It typically starts in early childhood. The purpose is for you and your child with Down syndrome to learn to cope with the condition, as well as treat what physical and cognitive (thinking) challenges arise. People with this condition are living longer and richer lives now more than ever. Though they can often face a unique set of challenges, they can also overcome those obstacles and thrive. Building a strong support network of experienced professionals and understanding family and friends is crucial for the success of people with Down syndrome and their families.

School is an important part of the life of a child with Down syndrome, regardless of intellectual ability. Public and private schools support people with Down syndrome and their families with integrated classrooms and special education opportunities. Schooling allows valuable socialization and helps students with Down syndrome build important life skills.

Coping and support

No matter what symptoms a person with Down syndrome has, early treatment is key. With the right care to develop physical, mental skills and treat medical issues, children with Down syndrome have a much better chance to reach their full abilities and live meaningful lives.

CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.

Author: cbtkeadmin
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