While normally when a baby is conceived it receives genetic information in the form of 46 chromosomes, 23 from the mother and 23 from the father, in a Down Syndrome the baby receives a total of 47 chromosomes, where an extra chromosome 21 is received. This extra chromosome causes the physical features and developmental delays that are associated with Down Syndrome. It is still unknown why Down Syndrome occurs but there is no way to prevent it, and although children with Down Syndrome may share some physical and mental features it can still range from mild to severe.
It is known that women age 35 and over have a significantly higher risk of having a baby with Down Syndrome. The physical features common to children with Down Syndrome include an upward slant to the eyes, a short neck and a large tongue, which may protrude, poor muscle tone (muscle hypotonia), a flat nasal bridge, unusually large space between large toe and second toe, and small ears.
Other problems related to Down Syndrome may include, but vary from child to child, heart defects at birth, digestive system problems, learning difficulties, delayed language development, speech difficulties, pulmonary problems, problems with hearing and vision, thyroid problems, and delayed physical development, reaching developmental milestones later than children without impairment, together with various other medical conditions. Strategies for Down Syndrome. In the case of children with Down Syndrome early-intervention services are recommended.
These include various medical check-ups, as well as working together with physical, occupational and speech therapists to help encourage and accelerate the child’s development. Inclusive education with the help of a Learning Support Assistant and a well structured Individualised Education Plan (IEP) based on the child’s needs is also recommended. Dyslexia Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that affects the reading and writing abilities of a person. Children with Dyslexia usually have trouble learning how to read properly and connecting speech sounds to the letters of the alphabet.
Research has shown that Dyslexia occurs because of problems related to the mental processing of information related to language. Because of this, reading itself becomes a difficulty within itself. Dyslexia is usually diagnosed in children in primary school, although sometimes it only becomes apparent at a later stage, when a child is older and is faced with more complex texts. Other problems associated with Dyslexia include difficulty reading, spelling and learning foreign languages. The later Dyslexia is identified, the more difficult it may be to help the child.
Children whose parents suffered from Dyslexia are more likely to also suffer from Dyslexia. The later children learn how to speak the more at risk they are of having Dyslexia. Dyslexia may be diagnosed by a reading specialist or a psychologist. To children, having Dyslexia can prove to be very frustrating, firstly because they find it difficult to read, secondly because they feel inferior to their peers. Children with Dyslexia miss out on valuable reading practice and often fall behind their classmates.
Strategies for Dyslexia One way of promoting reading to children with Dyslexia is to have a reading corner. Ideally, the reading corner should be attractive to children with comfortable seating, colourful posters and bookcases and possibly a screen to separate it from the rest of the classroom. The reading corner should be a quiet, comfortable, welcoming area where children can settle down to read. This area may be used for individual reading, peer reading, and small group discussions in a relaxed environment.
Another way to help children with Dyslexia is to use interactive whiteboards. Instead of asking all students to copy from the board, children with Dyslexia can be asked to follow during a lesson after which any notes written on the interactive whiteboard will be printed out to aid these children and to make sure that they have correctly written notes. Autism Autism, also known as Autistic Spectrum Disorder, is a lifelong brain development disability that affects communication, social interaction, together with other behaviours.
Autism affects the way people make sense of the world around them, because the brain has a problem interpreting what is seen, heard, experienced, etc. making it hard to do basic everyday things. Although people with autism share certain difficulties, each person is affected in a different way, and autism may affect a person in various degrees, ranging from very mild to severe; this is why autism is often referred to as Autistic Spectrum Disorder. People with autism may find it hard to interact with other children, making friends, interpret facial expressions and other body language.
People with autism have problems with both verbal as well as non-verbal language, and many may only have a literal understanding of spoken language. Speech may also be limited or not present in people with autism, although this may not necessarily always be the case. People with autism may also have a problem recognising and interpreting other people’s emotions and feelings together with expressing their own, which may make it difficult for them to fit into society.
Another problem that people with autism might have, is understanding or predicting people’s behaviour, making sense of abstract ideas or understanding ideas and things which are outside their daily routine. Despite all these difficulties, people with autism have been known to have very particular capabilities, such as being very creative, having a talent for the arts, or being exceptionally good in working out calculations. Strategies for Autism Although there is no cure for autism, there are various ways in which a person with autism can be helped.
Because people with autism find it difficult to understand the world around them it is very helpful for them to have a fixed daily routine. Having a highly structured schedule will help the person with autism to avoid getting confused and frustrated. Since it may be quite a challenge to communicate with a person who has autism, it may help to try to find alternative methods of communication, which the person may understand and react to. These may include sign language, use of technology or other alternative methods.