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How neurodevelopmental treatment is helping kids with Down syndrome

IANS Mar 22, 2024

Neurodevelopmental treatment is a holistic approach to helping children suffering from Down syndrome, said an expert on World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March.

World Down Syndrome Day is observed every year on March 21 to raise awareness about the genetic condition.

The theme this year 'End The Stereotypes' urges people to integrate people with the condition and not discriminate against them.

The genetic disorder occurs when all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21 is present in the DNA. Approximately one in every thousand children is born with Down syndrome. In India, it reportedly affects about 30,000-35,000 children.

Mohini, MPT in neurology, and paediatric physiotherapist at Artemis Special Children Centre, Gurugram, said that neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) is an advanced intervention to address motor skills, coordination, and overall physical development for kids with Down syndrome.

"It involves individualised treatment plans, incorporating technology such as virtual or interactive apps, multidisciplinary collaboration, early intervention and family-centred approach which contribute to better outcomes, increased independence, and enhanced quality of life for individuals with Down’s syndrome," she said.

Studies have shown that light, regular exercise can help improve the cognitive, as well as physical, health of those suffering from Down syndrome, suggested a study.

"NDT as a holistic approach, emphasises individualised therapeutic handling based on movement analysis for achievements of development milestones with patients of Down’s syndrome," Mohini added.

Reflecting on a case of a Down syndrome child from Kashmir, she noted that "with only three sessions of 45 minutes, the child showed improvements in his head and trunk control, which improved her sitting and also initiated crawling."

"Advanced NDT techniques may also incorporate strategies to enhance cognitive and social-emotional development," the doctor said.

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