Education

Education in children with Down syndrome: a key for their development

Although they need a different rhythm, when they are understood they can manage to grow steadily and continue learning throughout their lives.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition. It affects people of all races and economic levels. More than 400 mil people have Down syndrome in the United States. Fortunately, children with Down syndrome are included in regular academic classrooms around the country.

Socialization and education must begin when they are babies. It is very positive if they attend childcare centers, playgroups, and preschool settings alongside children of the same age. Early learning and intervention specialists work with families to encourage learning and development in the child’s daily life.

“Children with Down syndrome can be included in all activities and should have the same expectations for good behavior and responsibility as other children do. There are no behaviors specific to children with Down syndrome. However, sometimes the inability to express themselves with words can lead to frustration. Instead, children with Down syndrome will try to express themselves through behaviors – sometimes undesirable ones. It is often necessary to look beyond behavior and find the real message that the child is trying to express. This helps to understand and deal with the behavior. It is often because of a lack of understanding about the underlying cause of the behavior that people with Down syndrome are labeled as being stubborn”, says an article about Down syndrome and education at BetterHealth.org.

The success of their education depends a lot on how the school has an authentic inclusion culture, so for the parents, it is crucial to choose a good place for them and ask for a lot of information to make the right decisions.

Some health concerns may affect their educational development. If you are aware of them, they will improve their learning success.

It is essential that parents provide educators with information on health conditions and medication. It will help them recognize situations that children cannot tell them about. They must always be alert to changes at school.

It is also good to schedule the most critical classes during the morning because tiredness can be an obstacle to learning and can cause frustration and behavior problems. Temporary sleep disorders may change educational development. And also, be aware that when routine changes (for example, field trips) can cause physical or emotional problems so take this situation very carefully.

Children with Down syndrome generally take longer to learn new things. New skills may need to be broken down into smaller steps than for other learners, and more repetition may be needed to retain learned skills.

With the years, the gap in skills and learning between them and other groups will grow. The good news is that they don´t stop learning in the teenage or adult years. They keep on making steady progress and continue learning all their life, but it is important to give them the conditions to do so.

 

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