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  #1  
Old 07-13-2012, 02:45 PM
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Zoe Zoe is offline
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Default Has Anyone Cared for A Baby with Down Syndrome?

I just had an interview for an infant with Down Syndrome. It kinda took me by surprise because it wasn't mentioned until the physical interview. From what I gathered from the parents, it doesn't seem much different than taking care of any other infant except that the child is on-demand feeding and goes through diapers quickly.

Anyone worked with a child with DS before? Any tips you might want to share?
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:19 PM
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I have not had a daycare child with Down Syndrome, but my best friend's daughter has it. She is the most caring, sweetest little girl. These are my opinions about advantages/disadvantages to having a daycare child with downs:

Advantages--loving, sweet children, love learning and pleasing providers/parents

Disadvantages--texture/feeding issues--friend's daughter was slower to try solid foods due to texture and choking issues. Children with Down Syndrome also can't/don't usually recognize when full, so the provider/parent has to monitor food intake to prevent obesity.

developmental delays--in my state, a child with special needs stays in the lower age category until he/she is developmentally on par with the next age group--instead of being declared a preschooler at 18months, a downs child would count as an infant for a longer period than normal. My friend's daughter also didn't walk on her own til 3. She just turned 4, and she's potty training but not accident-free.

Therapists--my friend's daughter has worked with a physical therapist for various purposes. This might/might not be an issue if the therapist needs to come and provide therapy while child is at daycare.

*I don't actually have a child with Down Syndrome. This is just what I know from my best friend. If I've mistaken something, I apologize.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:36 PM
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They won't be potty trained or walking or walking or sitting til very late. They may have respiratory illnesses. But very happy, easy, sweet children.
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:23 PM
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I have two sons with Down Syndrome. I adopted one when he was 6 days old and the other when he was 3.5. They are actually just a month apart in age and are now 26 years old.

There is a stereotype that all kids with DS are always sweet and happy and loving but this is not true. Kids with DS are as different from each other as non-DS are. Their abilities can range from almost "normal" to very severely disabled but are usually somewhere in the middle. My two sons could not be more opposite from each other.

As far as babies with DS, my first son, E, was actually like most other babies. He was slow at drinking his bottles and I looking back I think he probably had reflux but back then no one seemed to realize that babies could have reflux and we didn't have the internet to learn about stuff like that. He had somewhat low muscle tone and was kind of floppy. You also have to be a little careful of their head and neck because a small number of kids with DS have an instability of the cervical spine. They are often more prone to upper respiratory and ear infections.

I would recommend trying to stick to a routine because they usually do better when things are repetitious and predictable. Provide lots of language stimulation and floor/tummy time. He may get ot/pt etc and they might have recommendations for you too.

Overall, I would say that as babies they are more like any other child their age but the gap does tend to widen as they get older.

I would be happy to answer any other questions you have.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:24 PM
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I currently care for a 4 year old with Down Syndrome. She is not toilet trained (or anywhere near ready), and is non verbal. Because she is non-verbal, she can be a little rough with the other children to communicate with them (slight pushing, poking, pointing), but she communicates easily with me. I have her 2 year old sister in care, and it's funny because even though she's non-verbal, she's the typical big sister in that she wants to boss the 2 year old around with gestures. She is a very curious, loves touching things and people, and has really good gross motor skills. She's one of my best eaters (which I always love), and loves knowing what to expect with routine. She's a great helper, and also very, very stubborn.

D.S. children have many different possible developmental delays, but as long as the parents are good at working with you, the child having D.S. shouldn't be much more difficult that a typical child.
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Old 03-31-2016, 07:50 PM
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As pp have said, there are many differences between different children with Down Syndrome.
The little boy I had in my fcc from infancy to K had supportive services split between here and his home until he was 3 yrs old. They helped me learn how to help him move forward in his large muscle development. He learned to get himself sitting up at about 11 months, crawled soon after, walked by 19 months, and potty trained as a mid-3 yr old.
At age 3 he longer received services at home or here, but went to special needs preschool 4 mornings a week. At K he was mainstreamed, with supportive services.
He learned sign here, which was very helpful. He began to speak at almost 3, but still used sign also. He was a loved member of our group, with lots of friends. He had a quirky sense of humor and loved to make everyone laugh. It seemed like it was a natural fit for a mixed age group because kids already understood that not everyone was at the same developmental level.
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Old 04-01-2016, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
There is a stereotype that all kids with DS are always sweet and happy and loving but this is not true. Kids with DS are as different from each other as non-DS are. Their abilities can range from almost "normal" to very severely disabled but are usually somewhere in the middle
This.
I would only do it if I was getting a LOT of support/services from outside. I worked in a Day Hab for young adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities. A couple of the folks had DS, and were at times fairly aggressive (more so than the others) often "cranky" etc. We had to be extremely cautious around young children because they could be far too rough with them - and yes, sometimes intentionally. I know these were young adults not infants/toddlers, but both came from loving, supportive homes.
As others have pointed out those with DS often have heart problems as well as issues with eating, etc.
I don't say this to be a Negative Nancy. As pointed out about I think there's a perception of those with DS out there that's not entirely accurate.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:01 AM
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My son is one of those people with DS who is very stubborn. He has severe OCD and has gotten physically aggressive and destructive but with medication and a good behavior plan he is doing pretty well now. He was not like this as a baby/young child though.

Approximately 50% of babies with DS have heart defects. My first son doesn't have any but my second one did and had it repaired when he was a baby (before I adopted him.) It hasn't caused him any problems since then.

I would be willing to accept a baby with DS in my daycare as long as he didn't have any major medical issues.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Two View Post
They won't be potty trained or walking or walking or sitting til very late. They may have respiratory illnesses. But very happy, easy, sweet children.
As always, the information is useful but this and old thread.

Original poster posted in 2012.
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Old 04-02-2016, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Play Care View Post
This.
I would only do it if I was getting a LOT of support/services from outside. I worked in a Day Hab for young adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities. A couple of the folks had DS, and were at times fairly aggressive (more so than the others) often "cranky" etc. We had to be extremely cautious around young children because they could be far too rough with them - and yes, sometimes intentionally. I know these were young adults not infants/toddlers, but both came from loving, supportive homes.
As others have pointed out those with DS often have heart problems as well as issues with eating, etc.
I don't say this to be a Negative Nancy. As pointed out about I think there's a perception of those with DS out there that's not entirely accurate.
I don't take DS children because of this. They are often "moody". Like say they like playing with a toy or child one day and the next day the exact thing that made them happy will make them RAGE. Hitting, screaming, bitting. I often feel like the other children and I have to walk on egg shells. I've worked in the board of ed before with therapists and other spec ed professionals. They would tell me nothing happened. They were just frustrated and nothing would have predicated it. I know this sounds unkind, but they will often terrorize the other child. I don't think group settings work. Even in schools they often need a one to one.
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I don't take DS children because of this. They are often "moody". Like say they like playing with a toy or child one day and the next day the exact thing that made them happy will make them RAGE. Hitting, screaming, bitting. I often feel like the other children and I have to walk on egg shells. I've worked in the board of ed before with therapists and other spec ed professionals. They would tell me nothing happened. They were just frustrated and nothing would have predicated it. I know this sounds unkind, but they will often terrorize the other child. I don't think group settings work. Even in schools they often need a one to one.
It's actually against the law to discriminate against a child with special needs. Saying "I won't take a child with DS." is discrimination.

I would take a child with DS IF..... would not be.
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Old 04-06-2016, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by daycarediva View Post
It's actually against the law to discriminate against a child with special needs. Saying "I won't take a child with DS." is discrimination.

I would take a child with DS IF..... would not be.
I lie and say the position has been filled or the good old "I'll contact you as soon as the family (who's position I'm filling) has finalized their last day due to ratio". In my state, though, most of these children get free services starting at three. I rarely get them. I don't it to seem like (well here) there's a bunch of DS kids with no one wanting to take them.
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