Developmental Characteristics of Children with Down Syndrome
Children with Down syndrome appear to be retarded in all developmental areas when compared to children who develop normally. In early childhood, the development of children with Down’s syndrome occurs in the same order but slower, similar to that of normal-progressing children. Children with Down’s syndrome are lagging in areas of cognitive, language, personal-social development. This retardation is not very obvious in the early period of life. However, with the growth of the child, it becomes evident and the difference between them and their peers becomes even more evident.
COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT IN DOWN SYNDROME CHILDREN:
Many developmental processes such as child’s movements, perception of the environment, communication with the surrounding people, learning, sounding, coordination, speech can be adversely affected as a result of the inadequacy of the neurological system of children with Down’s syndrome. Although individuals with Down’s syndrome may be more passive, loose, irrelevant to their surroundings, sound or too cranky than normal-looking babies, the vast majority are not different from other babies in their first months of life. Although the cognitive development of infants with Down syndrome follows the same order as the children with normal development, their developmental speeds are slower and delayed than their peers. While this retardation is less in some children, a very severe picture may be encountered in some children. The physical development of the baby with Down’s syndrome (extension of the neck, weight gain, etc.) is slower than expected when newborns are suffering from malnutrition, thyroid or growth hormone deficiency, severe heart problems and similar problems. This slow growth also affects the developmental progress of the child with Down syndrome in a negative way. The causes of inadequacies in the learning process include the fact that there is a problem with seeing and hearing in the child, and the late recognition and delay in the treatment
LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT IN DOWN SyNDROMe CHILDREN
Speech and language development of infants with Down’s syndrome usually has been delayed since the first years of life. This delay can be the result of loss of appetite, hypotonia (muscle loosening) in the mouth and tongue muscles and tension in the cognitive development of the child. Surveys show that the baby with Down’s syndrome is most back in the tongue, and that the tension in this area is also related to the dill-related characteristics of the surrounding area. Children with normal development begin to understand the interrelationships of correct words at the end of the second year, much later than children with Down’s syndrome. In normal development babies3. or 4th, the number of voices they are going to increase increases, and then the voices that they subtract from the conversation are turned around, rather than talking about it. As the baby with Down’s syndrome starts to make a louder voice later, there is no decrease in the voices that he or she takes out because they do not listen and pay attention to what is said in the environment. Muscle laxity can affect speech skills as well as feeding the child. Since the same muscles (face, mouth, shoulder, and trunk muscles) are used in talking and eating, the looseness in the muscles makes it difficult for the words to be shaped and to be turned into the mouth. Laxity in the muscles of the trunk can also cause difficulties in creating the necessary support for breathing during speech.