Down Syndrome and the Role of Occupational Therapy
What is Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome, also known as Trisomy 21, is a genetic and naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement characterized by the presence of a third copy of chromosome 21. Down syndrome is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. The occurrence of Down syndrome is universal across racial and gender lines, and it is present in approximately one in 781 births in Canada.
The Canadian Down Syndrome Society has created several brochures for new parents of children with Down Syndrome. Download them here.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) has developed a guidebook, Aging and Down Syndrome: A Health & Well-Being Guidebook to provide guidance, education, and support to families and caregivers of older adults with Down syndrome and to prepare them for medical issues commonly encountered in adulthood.
This month, we are focusing on CREATING AWARENESS for individuals and families with Down Syndrome.
Occupational Therapists have a role in ADVOCATING for their clients. Advocating means creating awareness on behalf of another individual or group as to why a certain adaptation or modification is needed for the individual to succeed, maintain independence, or participate in the community, etc.
Terminology is a large part of advocating and Occupational Therapists can help to educate parents, teachers, funding agencies, and community members about appropriate terminology and user friendly terms to create positive awareness for individuals and groups such as those with Down Syndrome.