National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Pediatric in Gastonia, NC

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October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and many parents of children with Down syndrome are seeking pediatric advice on how to care for them. Although children with Down syndrome are very much like other children, you’ll need to meet with medical specialists and therapists on a regular basis. Be prepared to keep meticulous records of your child’s health and educational progress, so that you’ll have all the information you need at hand. Look for communities of parents of children with Down syndrome. They can offer support and advice, help you find more resources and give you more people to share your child’s progress and accomplishments with.

Infants with Down syndrome often have weaker jaw and tongue muscles. This can make it more difficult to eat, and later to speak. Your infant may need feeding therapy now and speech therapy later. However, babies with Down syndrome are capable of learning infant sign language. This will get them into the habit of expressing themselves clearly by the time their mouths are ready to speak.

Don’t assume there are limits

Which brings us to an important point in pediatric care for Down syndrome children — don’t underestimate them. Raising them is not that different from raising other children. They need time to play, time to read, and a gentle but solid structure in their lives.

Don’t get depressed over your child’s future. Adults with Down syndrome are not only holding down jobs but managing their own businesses, and have consistently exceeded estimates of their abilities. As writer Michael Bérubé (whose son has Down syndrome) said in 2008, “I note that in the 1920s we were told that people with Down syndrome were incapable of learning to speak; in the 1970s, we were told that people with Down syndrome were incapable of learning how to read. OK, so now the rationale for seeing these people as somewhat less than human is their likely comprehension of Woody Allen films. Twenty years from now we’ll be hearing ‘sure, they get Woody Allen, but only his early comedies—they completely fail to appreciate the breakthrough of Interiors.’” In short, there’s absolutely no reason to think people with Down syndrome have reached the limits of what they can accomplish.

A pediatric practice in Gastonia, NC

Gastonia Pediatric Associates is a pediatric practice in a convenient location within the Charlotte area. It is one of the first medical practices for children in this area, and is owned and directed by its own physicians. It offers medical advice for parents 24 hours a day, and has provided personalized service to three generations of families. Its staff includes three physicians and three nursing staff. If you need a pediatric practice, contact Gastonia Pediatrics today.