||02-06-2006 04:45 PM
In a previous life I was a special education teacher and child psychologist(amongst other things!!!) and from my experience a child with Downes Syndrome, particularly in the early stages of development have very few additional needs than any other young child and therefore anyone who has sailed with a young infant would have appropriate advice to offer.
As their child grows it is expected there will be a widening gap between the child with Downes and the child's age peers in the capacity to assimilate and interpret information in their environment. From this, there typically would be a more restricted level of expectation of responsibility for their child and an extended level of supervision.
It is important for them to realise that there can be quite a wide spread in abilities between various individuals with Downes and so contact with professionals who are able to gauge abilities would be important. A more high functioning Downes child may well aproximate abilities of a near average child. Another key factor is the quality of relationship between both the parents and their child as this will have an important influence in his/her social development. There are bound to be Downes support groups in their area who could be helpful. I am happy for them to contact me if they wish.