Unit 14

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E5
Down’s syndrome is a disorder caused by a fault of the chromosomes; the pieces of DNA containing the outline for the human body. Normally a person has two copies of each chromosome but a person with Down syndrome has three copies. The extra DNA produces the physical and mental sort of Down syndrome, which include a small head that is flattened in the back, slanted eye, extra skin folds at the corners of the eyes, small ears, nose and mouth, short height, small hands and feet and some degree of mental disability. Having worked with a boy, aged 2, with Down syndrome, I understand what practitioners go through to support children with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome can be delayed in their development, their social factors may need support and the physical side of them can be delayed. Helping and supporting the boy at my previous placement, I had to support him to walk by holding him up straight, taking it slowly by doing little steps at a time at his own pace without getting impatient with him. I helped him with things like walking to the toilet to wash his hands before eating. During free flow he was able to crawl around and do what he wanted. Over the period of time I was there towards the end of my experience he was able to hold onto walls and tables to hold himself up. I have remained in contact with my placement and have been told that now he can walk on his own and doesn’t depend on them as much as he needed to. “There's no cure, but treatment of any accompanying health problems and support for learning difficulties allows many people with the syndrome to lead relatively normal and semi-independent lives.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/downssyndrome1.shtml “Others, however, need full-time care. Many people with the condition live well into adulthood, with an average life expectancy of around 60 years.” The role of the practitioner supporting this child is to always be near and ready to observe. Jot down when or if...
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