Down Syndrome Child: What You Can Do As A Parent
How you can work with your toddler with Down syndrome to develop better motor skills to help them crawl, walk and talk.
You would pay a million dollars to be able to say to your child at the age of two, "Get off that table. I wish you would stop climbing on everything." A typical toddler at the age of two, three and four you would have to say that to them quite frequently. But since your toddler has Down syndrome you won't have to say that to them at that age.
Children with Down syndrome's growth development is much slower than a regular toddler, so they won't be climbing, crawling, jumping and running as a normal child would. All the normal things that most parents go through with their toddlers like: talking you to death, constantly chasing after them and your child getting into any and everything, unfortunately you won't have that problem right away. Your child with Down syndrome will make you miss most of those activities at that age because their motor development is slower.
Instead of walking by 12 to 14 months as other children do, children with Down syndrome usually learn to walk between 15 to 36 months. Language development is also markedly delayed. All of these different delays in their lives are something that you as the parent will have to accept and be ready to deal with. Start working with them at home on motor development skills daily. You can do leg and arm exercises that will help to make their muscles stronger.
This will enable them to stand on their legs longer and use their legs and arms to crawl more. Anything that you see your child like and respond to quickly, use that as something that will make them come to you by crawling or walking. Like any other child something that they want they will find away to get, your Down syndrome child is the same way. Use that favorite toy, book or bright object to get their attention to crawl, stand or walk. You as the parent will have to work extra hard with them for these developments instead of sitting back and letting nature take its course.
Speech development is definitely slower and not clear. You should talk to your child in perfectly correct and clear English. No baby talk to them. With having speech difficulties, they need to hear the correct pronunciation of every word at all times. Reading to your child with Down syndrome is a must. Reading any and everything will help them to develop speech at a much faster pace then waiting for them to automatically learn words by themselves. It is a great way for them to hear words and you are spending that very much needed quality time with them.
Yes you might miss the terrible two's, that every parent dread going through at that age. This is the stage where it seems like your child has discovered life from talking, walking, running and that curiosity they have to get into everything. Your Down syndrome toddler at the age of two might not be doing that yet, but they will. It might be at a later age that they discover life and you have the terrible two's at the age of four, but you will have it. When that day finally come that you can say to them, " Get off that table" will be one of the happiest days of your life.