Baby Development

Developmental Characteristics of Children with Down Syndrome

Developmental Characteristics of Children with Down Syndrome

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Children with Down's Syndrome show retardation in all developmental foreheads compared to children with normal development. Early childhood, Development of children with Down syndrome, similar to that of normal developing children, but in the same order but more slowly. Children with Down syndrome are retarded in the areas of cognitive, language and personal-social development. This retardation is not very prominent in the early period of life. However, with the growth of the child, it becomes more evident and the gap between the peers and the children is widened.


As a result of the insufficiency in the neurological systems of children with Down syndrome affects the mental process, many developmental processes such as children's movements, perception of the environment, communication with the people around them, learning, making sound, coordination, and speaking can be negatively affected. Although individuals with Down syndrome may be more passive, loose, indifferent, silent, or excessively grumpy than infants with normal development, the majority are not different from other infants in the first months of life.

Although cognitive development of infants with Down syndrome follows the same order as children with normal development, their developmental speed is slower and delayed than their peers. While this retardation is less common in some children, it may be very severe in some children. When she is born, she has malnutrition, thyroid or growth hormone deficiency, severe heart problems and similar problems. Down syndrome baby physical development (lengthening, weight gain, etc.) is also slower than expected. This slow growth also negatively affects the developmental process gains of the child with Down syndrome. Causes such as having a visual and hearing problem in the child and being noticed late, and delay in the treatment of the child lead to disabilities in the learning process.


The development of speech and language in infants with Down syndrome has generally been delayed since the first years of life. This delay may be the result of loss of hearing, hypotonia in the mouth and tongue muscles (muscle laxity) and the effect of retardation in the cognitive development of the child. Research has shown that the baby with Down syndrome is mostly back in the language field, and that the retardation in this field is related to the language-related features of the environment. As children develop normally, towards the end of the second year, they begin to understand the relationship of words with each other. Children with Down Syndrome it is much later. In infants with normal development3. or 4 months later, the voices they make increase and then they turn their attention to the environment and to the spoken ones rather than talking. The babies with Down syndrome start to make noises later, and because they do not listen and pay attention to what is spoken in the environment, they do not decrease as they do in others and this decrease is observed later. Muscle laxity can affect the child's nutrition as well as speech skills. Since the same muscles (face, mouth, shoulder and trunk muscles) are used in speech and eating, the loosening in the muscles makes it difficult to shape words and to turn the food into the mouth. Laxity of the trunk muscles can also cause difficulties in providing the necessary support for breathing during speech.


The first communication of the child with those around him is through crying. Studies show that in the first year, the crying of the baby with Down syndrome is different in terms of both quality and quantity, that they cry longer, cry more, and make less noise than the children who develop normally. Children with Down syndrome It can be called good babies because they usually cry less until the sixth month, which causes the baby to have less communication with adults. Although they are delayed in their performance, they respond with a smile or sound when spoken to in children with Down syndrome as they do with normal development, show that they want to be hugged, like fun games, and shout to attract the attention of their environment. Studies have shown that problems such as heart disease and muscle laxity in children with Down syndrome adversely affect their ability to acquire self-care skills. It was observed that they were able to gain independent life skills and live less dependent when the opportunity was given and appropriate education was provided. It is known that children with Down syndrome are more social, happy, caring and smiling in the mentally disabled group.

Generally Children with Down Syndrome They are described as cheerful, sympathetic, affectionate, social, lively, happy and able to establish good relations with their environment, but emotional and behavioral problems may also be encountered in these children. It is seen that these problems are more common than those with normative development, whereas they are less than the groups diagnosed with mental disabilities for other reasons. In Down's syndrome, attention is given to some promler behaviors such as hyperactivity, stereotype (repetition of behavior) as well as deficiencies related to problem solving. These behaviors can be prevented or minimized by appropriate approaches of parents before or during early childhood.


Exp. Dr. Gönül Kobal, Ankara University. Developmental Characteristics of Children with Down Syndrome (Çoluk Çocuk Magazine, issue: 35)

Professor Dr. Bülent Üstündağ, 47. Chromosome. New Asian Publications, Istanbul (1994).

Ira Lott & Ernest E. McCoy. Down Sydrome, Advances in Medical Care. Willeyless Publication, New York (2000)

In addition, we would like to thank Ateş Artı Special Education Rehabilitation Center Manager and Child Development Education Specialist Mr. Mustafa Ateş fikirler for whose ideas we have benefited from the realization of this study. Please visit the website of Plus Special Education Rehabilitation Center. I

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