Effects of Down Syndrome on Overall Well-being

28 Mar 2018

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Effect of Down Syndrome

Researcher finds out the strength and weaknesses of children with Down syndrome and comparison with normal children. This study compared Down syndrome child and typically developing children on cognitive ability across five aspects of child development which are language, self-help, gross motor, socioemotional and fine motor.

Researcher found that Down syndrome children they perform significantly worse in the language if compared to typically developing children. The primary finding in this study is language is the most difficulties for kids with Down syndrome due to abnormal cognitive development would negatively affect language learning and acquisition (Haikal, S. 2012). The findings for the four development aspects are self –help, gross motor, socioemotion and fine motor. The result shows that Down syndrome score lower than normal children. It shows positive finding in this study may due to the children with Down syndrome they receive early intervention in their early childhood. The findings were supported by previous researches, which noted that children with Down syndrome may get considerable progress if under the efficient and appropriate intervention and training, even achieve to the typically developing level, such as motor skill, socioemotional ability (Haikal, S. 2012).

Although children with Down syndrome they developmentally delayed in many aspects, but they will perform better if they receive early intervention program (EI). A longitude and descriptive written report, which compared children with Down syndrome experienced with early intervention programs (EI) and without early intervention program confirmed the positive result of early intervention to children with Down syndrome (Haikal, S. 2012). The outcome indicated that kids with Down syndrome under the EI program have significantly higher scores on intellectual and adaptive functioning than those without early intervention.

Down syndrome children they get well record and good impression from the community. They also did better on socioemotional assessment. Previous research shows that Down syndrome children usually experience more or less difficulties in self-care activities, such as grooming. There are some similar results found in this study that children with Down syndrome performed quite worse on self-help tasks, which may due to the younger age of this study sample. The performance of self-care activities were shown more related to the fine motor skills required. The self-help skill at school-aged children with Down syndrome found that over half of them (59.7%) needed no help with self-care tasks, which mean the self –care skill can improve with increased age (Haikal, S. 2012).

On the other hand, Down syndrome people show poor on social interactions with others. People who face social skill deficits can contribute to isolation from friendships and peer interactions and can limit further opportunities to improve social skills. Social skill deficit is problematic because it will lead to negative experiences and avoidance of social interactions (Hajar, B. 2012).

Some of the research show that improving children with Down syndrome’ social skills can offset the growth of more serious maladjustment. In the process of socialization, the kid will learn the right attitudes, skills, values, and behavior so that they will able to role play in the society. The answers demonstrated that social skills’ training is effective in the socialization improvement in Down syndrome children and this improvement was maintained over a 2-month follow-up period (Hajar, B. 2012). This study showed social skill training, increasing the ability positive relational behavior with the people with Down syndrome. The researcher also found that social skills training effective to better social behavior adjustment in adolescent. In the intervention group, it appears a model of social skills and appropriate ways to approach various situations of children with Down syndrome.

These models will teach new behaviors to children and it also will correct an inappropriate behavior that the children have. Students with disability who acquire good social skills, and show more favorable in terms of social behavior, have more positive self-concept, and this leads to the understanding of their limitations and capabilities to better ways (Hajar, B. 2012) .

Thus, it is necessary to consider social skills training to all students, especially students with mental retardation who have trouble in passing along with peers. Obviously, appropriate social skills training and providing opportunities and experiences will increase their social interactions, and causes the students to apply strategies and social skills in all environments and real life situations (Hajar, B. 2012). Developmental disabilities also identified with Down syndrome child. They are eligible to receive early intervention service. The benefit of early intervention is understanding the strengths, abilities and special needs of youngster, knowing the rights and talk on the child’s behalf. It also can assist the child to develop and learn, having a support system and be involved in the community (Aniza, I. 2013).

Researchers also found that the mean of each domain in children who received early intervention is more eminent than those who received late intervention. This indicates that the family will have better family outcomes as a result of early intervention in many aspects. Family outcomes study by NEILS found that parents agreed their children's participation in early intervention programs has enabled them to assist their children to grow and learn, give them the opportunity to work with the professional and speak on behalf of their children about their needs.

According to a study by the National Early Intervention longitude Longitudinal Study (NEILS), mothers' education level and family income also have a substantial relation to the family outcomes. Parents with higher education levels have a more positive result in the family outcomes. Poorly educated parents are usually found to have less knowledge compared to those who are well educated so they are not aware about the advantages related to exposure and the establishment of early intervention programs in their place (Aniza, I. 2013).

Besides that, Cunningham found economic burden will affect family ties and increase family stress because raising children requires a lot of financial sacrifices especially for the families of children with special needs. Thus, the government has established training and service center for these families, namely Kompleks KASIH Keluarga who organized programs and services aimed to strengthen the family unit (Aniza, I. 2013). Through this, parents who have children with disabilities can gain more knowledge about their special children and how to handle their family through participation in programs and workshops.

Down syndrome (DS) child will experience healthy problem, and have less access to health care than the general population. There are some article show the benefits of physical activity for children with down syndrome and some intervention programs for this population.

Evidence proves the benefits of physical activity for the wellbeing of body, brain, and the decrease of risk of chronic disease. Various studies indicated that physical activity improved "psychological well-being". In layman word is the way in which we deal, with stress and mental functioning, such as decision making, planning, and short-term memory, reduced anxiety, and promoted healthier sleep patterns.

Besides that, there are more or less positive effects of regular physical activity are an improvement in cardiovascular and respiratory muscle function, a reduction in coronary artery disease risk factors such as elevated systolic, diastolic blood pressures and a diminished degree of overall mortality and morbidity. The benefits also may include enhanced feelings of wellbeing, and enhanced performance at workplace, refreshment, and sports activities (Lotan, M. 2007).

Heller found that a group of adults with DS, who participated in a fitness and health education program for 12 weeks, in that respect are some changes of their attitudes towards practice, proved more positive expected outcomes and improved life satisfaction (Lotan, M. 2007). On the other hand, researchers have performed a jog/walk program for DS participants. The researcher can conclude that adults with DS were able to improve their aerobic capacity when performing a systematic and well-designed aerobic training program. This program demonstrated significant improvement in muscle strength and dynamic balance, supporting a positive outcome.

Carmeli implemented a pain-free treadmill walking program for adults with DS and arterial occlusive disease. Some of the participants showed significant improvements in walking speed, distance, and duration. Pain levels were concentrated in people suffering from intermittent claudication. Therefore, it is recommended to carry out such programs throughout the lifetime span of individuals with DS (Lotan, M. 2007).

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