Down’s Syndrome patients need early intervention

Even though Down Syndrome (DS) remains an incurable condition, experts believe that acceptance by the family and early intervention go a long way in ensuring that a person with DS is able to live a normal life and be socially independent.

Worldwide, March 21 is celebrated as the World Down Syndrome Day. DS is a genetic condition that affects 1 out of 800 people and is universally present across racial, gender or socio-economic lines, according to Down Syndrome International, a UK-based organisation for creating awareness about DS.

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The people having DS often suffer from mental retardation, have a flat face, long or protruding tongue and slanted eyes.

`Down Syndrome is a genetic condition and so far, medical science has no cure for the condition. It is not something that can be prevented. The parents often blame themselves and wonder what did they do wrong,` said Aarti Anand, clinical psychologist at Delhi`s Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

Anand claimed that more than the child, the family members need counseling and professional help as `they are often unable to accept the fact that their child has Down`s syndrome.`

Calling it a handicap, Anand said that the acceptance of the family members was very important as only after accepting the disease can family members properly take care of the patient.

Geeta Chhabra, 36, has DS but her parents didn`t realise about her condition at the time of her birth. According to doctors, only 25 percent of her brain is functional but when her family put her in a special school, she shone as a student.

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