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Recreational tips for children with Down syndrome

October 31, 2018

Children with Down syndrome have delayed mental and physical developments. Some of them might have problems with vision, speech, or even hearing. But given the right guidance and support, they are as able and eager to learn new things.

There are many schools and NGOs dedicated to empowering kids with Down syndrome through arts and sports. Like the

Down Syndrome Federation of India (DSFI), headed by Dr Surekha Ramachandran, whose daughter Babli has Down syndrome.

Babli has excelled as a swimmer and teaches yoga. She has won medals at national para swimming meets. And that's not all.

Since she was a child, Babli loved painting, exploring colours. She also loves water and that is how she has won many championships in swimming. Unlike other sports where you sweat a lot, water has a cooling effect. She is also a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, and it has always been her passion. - Dr Surekha Ramachandran, President, Down Syndrome Federation of India

So what are some fun recreational activities for a child with Down syndrome?

  • Games - There is many indoor and outdoor games that can help children with Down syndrome. Exclusive puzzles and games are available at the market as well. Games like One at a time, rainbow of learning, tell me more and so on are some of the popular ones. These games help in improving communication, visual and social skills of the child. Most of the schools introduce children to such games. But it is also important that parents help them try out these games at home too.
  • Music- Music has a therapeutic effect on people with and without disabilities. It heals a tired and worn out person. The effect it has on children with Down syndrome needs no special mention! According to experts, music helps in retaining memory of children with Down syndrome. Introduce your child to a certain music that they enjoy. Associate this music to future activities and what the child does on a regular basis. This makes things easier for them. If you can get something like a musical doll, then nothing like it! Some children might show interest in learning musical instruments. Do not hesitate to teach them.
  • Travelling - We all love travelling to new places and exploring things. It helps an individual to grow and learn new things. When it comes to a child with Down syndrome, sight-seeing gives them a visual entertaining memory. It educates them in numerous other ways as well. When they meet new people, their communication skills are enhanced. The holiday season is approaching. If parents are looking out for a vacation, this is the ideal time. You also get some great deals this season. So try not to miss them!
  • Sports - Many children with Down syndrome love sports. The benefits of playing sports are many. Apart from helping to shed extra calories, it helps in the well-being of a child with Down syndrome. Introduce your child to activities like balancing on a beam, cycling and running. There are many inclusive parks in our cities. Your child will have a great time at these places!

Sreekumari Menon,President, Sradha School for Children with Special Needs is a strong believer in the power of music.

"Over the year, we have had many children with Down syndrome. Even our special educators say that musical therapy has helped many children. They love being introduced to new instruments like keyboard and drums", says Menon.

That's plenty of options to choose from. Help your child identify which one he or she likes or not.

ALSO READ: Ainson Antony, who has Down syndrome, finds his life's purpose in automobiles

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