Five Tips For Parents Of Kids With Down Syndrome


In the United States, about one in every 700 babies is born with Down Syndrome, which works out to about 6,000 babies annually. Due to chromosomal abnormality, the average kid with Down Syndrome has a small stature, low muscle tone and an upward eye slant among other physical characteristics.

While each kid with Down Syndrome is different, there are many things parents of kids with Down Syndrome can do to help them navigate the world around them. They should be educated like any other child and given time and space to learn new and appropriate behaviors, gain independence and develop new skills.

If you’re a parenting a child with down syndrome, here are some helpful tips to help them:

  • Educate yourself: One of the best things you can do as a parent is learn all that you can about Down Syndrome and Down Syndrome education. The more you know, the more you’re going to be able to help your child. These days there’s plenty of research and outreach groups available where you can learn all that you can on your own or you can talk to other parents who are experienced or are experiencing the same things your family is experiencing.
  • Love your child: Another one of the best things you can do if you have a kid with Down Syndrome is to provide them with a loving environment at home. Your son or your daughter may have Down Syndrome, but they are your child and you love them dearly. As such, show them that love in spades. Take them on outings, read to them, play with them and spend time with them. The world can be a cruel place for anyone with a disability and that includes people with Down Syndrome because others might not understand why they look or act the way they do. The best thing you can do as a parent is show them unconditional love and support.
  • Support independence: A kid with Down Syndrome may have some degree of cognitive delay, but that doesn’t mean he or she can’t learn to be independent. Teach them and encourage them to do simple things for themselves as they grow older such as grooming themselves or getting dressed.
  • Let them learn: If your child is doing something and they make a mistake, don’t immediately tell them that it’s wrong. Instead, you can offer help if they need it and ask them to do it again. You can also show them how to it correctly and then have them follow your example. Along the way, you should offer encouragement and positive reinforcement.
    One good way to do this is with household chores. Depending on your child’s cognitive abilities, you can have them do different things to help around the house. Take care to divide a chore into manageable steps they can follow until a chore is completed. Kids with Down Syndrome tend to be visual learners, so you can show them how you’d like something to do done and then have them follow your example.
  • Help them learn at school: Another way to encourage your child is to look for ways to incorporate at school what they’re learning at home. You can talk to the professionals at school who work with your child every day. This way you can play an active role in your child’s education, help the professionals plan lessons and helping those teachers understand who your child is without the stigma of Down Syndrome.
    Along with that, you shouldn’t be afraid to set goals and expectations for your child, but you should be reasonable with those goals in expectations. For example, if your child is struggling with too many stimuli at one time, present only a few at a time. Or if your child is struggling with writing on a piece of paper, you might encourage them to write a computer, or show them how to write on the paper, since, again, they tend to be visual learners.

By encouraging your child to learn, helping them learn, giving them room to become independent and showing them lots of love, a kid with Down Syndrome can learn to navigate the world around them and live long and happy lives.