Down syndrome treatment involves certain therapies that are used to treat the physical, medical and cognitive problems that are common with this genetic disorder. Early intervention and Down syndrome treatment therapies can help people who have Down syndrome to live a longer and healthier life.
People who are born with this genetic disorder can not ever be cured of it because there is no cure. There are increased risks for certain medical problems associated with Down syndrome. The goal administered treatment is to help manage the health problems that commonly arise with Down syndrome, such as joint and muscle problems, heart defects, thyroid problems, vision problems and hearing problems. Many people who are born with Down syndrome can also be afflicted with seizures and leukemia.
Certain medications are used to treat some of the health problems associated with Down syndrome. When the person who has Down syndrome also has a seizure disorder they will be given anti-seizure medications. Thyroid problems are treated with thyroid medications such as thyroid replacement hormone therapy. These are just two of the examples where prescription medications are used by people who are born with Down syndrome. The medications are not in themselves a Down syndrome treatment per se. Instead, they treat the health problems individuals have that are associated with this condition.
Surgical Down Syndrome treatment is sometimes used to treat the particular conditions associated with this medical condition. For instance, the child may also be born with a heart defect and need to be treated by a cardiologist. Actually, about 40% of the children born with Down syndrome are born with congenital heart defects too. Sometimes heart surgery is required. If the child has a thyroid condition, a pediatric endocrinologist needs to be called in to treat this condition as well.
Hearing and vision problems are treated by audiologists and ophthalmologists. The treatment for these problems is the same as they are for other children who have hearing and vision problems. If the child has an intestinal problem they may require surgery and need an internal medicine specialist.
The sooner the medical conditions receive treatment to help relieve the condition the better chances of a healthier life the Down syndrome child will have. Federal law now requires that each Down syndrome child receives all of the medical therapies, speech therapies and activities and exercise that are necessary as soon after birth as possible. Two of the most common treatments used to help the child are physical therapies and speech therapy.
Physical therapies that are used in medical conditions associated with Down syndrome treatment usually focus on the child’s motor skills and development. Most of the children who are born with this condition need physical therapy to help them to learn how to move their bodies better. They must also be helped to improve muscle tone.
Most children who are born with Down syndrome need treatment to help them to speak clearly. Most of these children have enlarged tongues and small mouths which makes it hard for them to speak clearly. Their ability to articulate clearly is made even more difficult because of low muscle tone and the need to learn how to use facial muscles when speaking. Many of these children are taught sign language as well as speech therapy.
As the child grows older they will continue to need the support of professionals. For instance, occupational therapists are needed to help them learn how to have the skills to live on their own.
Down syndrome treatment for older patients can include such things as treatment for depression with anti-depressants and Alzheimer’s medications if they develop this disease. Social workers, counselors and clergy and medical professionals can all work together to help ensure the patient is getting the best treatments for all of the medical conditions that are associated with Down syndrome.