Weighted Blanket for Down Syndrome

What is Down Syndrome?

Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused when there is an error in cell division in an individual’s genetic makeup, resulting in an extra 21st chromosome. It’s a life-long condition that affects a person’s physical features and overall development.

This condition can also affect intellectual ability and increases the likelihood of health problems. There is no exact cause of Down Syndrome, however studies have shown that there are certain risk factors that increase the chance of having a baby with Down Syndrome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down Syndrome. Approximately there are 6,000 babies born each year with the condition.

What are the risk factors of Down Syndrome?

  • Maternal age - mothers who get pregnant when they’re older have a higher risk of having a child with Down Syndrome. Many doctors believe that the risk increases when a woman reaches 35 years old.
  • Heredity - having immediate family members or relatives who have Down Syndrome will increase the chance of passing on the gene

What are the symptoms of Down Syndrome?

The symptoms of Down Syndrome vary from case to case, but individuals with the condition can have intellectual and developmental symptoms that can affect them at different times of their lives. There are also certain physical signs that indicate a person has the condition.

Individuals with Down Syndrome exhibit the following physical characteristics:

  • A flattened facial profile
  • Upward slanting eyes with a fold overlapping their upper eyelid and covering the inner corner of the eye
  • Short and wide hands with short fingers
  • A single crease across the middle crease on both palms of the hands
  • A bigger gap between the big toe and the second toe
  • A nose bridge that is slightly flattened

The following are some intellectual and developmental symptoms that may occur:

  • Language delay and speech impediment
  • Mild to moderate cognitive impairment
  • Short attention span and lack of focus
  • Impulsivity and poor judgment
  • Heart defects
  • Depression and behavioral problems

People with Down Syndrome are more likely to have health risks such as respiratory infections, digestive issues, hearing difficulties, eye conditions and dental problems. However, with new medical advancements and therapies, these individuals are able to lead happy and well-adjusted lives.

How is a person diagnosed with Down Syndrome?

It’s recommended that women who are pregnant receive screening and diagnostic exams which will determine whether their baby has the condition or not. Tests can be in the form of an ultrasound, blood tests, analysis of fetal DNA among many others.

What are the recommended treatments or therapies for Down Syndrome?

A. Physical Therapy - children are encouraged to engage in physical activity and exercise that can improve their motor skills, increase muscle strength, and develop their balance and posture.

A physical therapist can help a child with physical challenges such as low muscle tone which can deter them from having an efficient walking pattern. This treatment is vital in early child development and is recommended during infancy to aid the baby in skills such as turning over, crawling, walking which are necessary life skills.

B. Speech Therapy - this is to improve verbal communication skills and to aid in developing language acquisition at an earlier rate. Children with Down Syndrome often want to communicate and find it difficult to speak, so a therapist may also be able to teach them sign language until they are able to communicate verbally.

A therapist can also help children with conversation skills, pronunciation skills, reading comprehension skills, and learning and remembering words. Developing their communication will allow children with Down Syndrome to socially interact with their peers.

C. Occupational Therapy - since children with the condition are more likely to have delays in learning, having an occupational therapist closely monitor and teach them self-care skills such as getting dressed, eating, writing, and many other routine tasks is an ideal form of treatment.

A therapist can assist well-adjusted individuals at the highschool level to match their skills and interests with jobs and careers so they can be self-sufficient. Some tools are also used to aid children and adults with Down Syndrome to improve everyday functioning.

D. Emotional and Behavioral Therapy - children with Down Syndrome often have behavioral difficulties due to difficulty in communication. They are more likely to develop attention disorders, compulsive behaviors and other mental health issues.

Having a therapist closely monitor mental and emotional health will help children develop coping and interpersonal skills. Counselors can also help teenagers and young adults who are undergoing puberty to address aggressive behavior caused by hormonal changes during adolescence.

E. Sensory Integration Therapy - children with Down Syndrome have behavioral issues due to lack of an established routine. Something as simple as not getting a good night’s sleep may cause aggressiveness, agitation and anxiety in people with Down Syndrome.

This is where Miran Blanket comes in. Weighted blankets cause deep pressure that regulates sensory integration of the body. The hug-like sensation and the weight of the blanket can provide a sense of safety and security which can help an individual calm down.

With its polyester microbeads distributed throughout the soft and luxurious fabric, it effectively induces calmness while giving an added level of comfort to the weighted blanket user.

This promotes a healthy sleep pattern and is a cost-effective way to address sleep-related concerns and allows the individual with Down Syndrome to process external stimuli as well as have a restorative and healthy sleeping routine.