Down syndrome

Support for Down syndrome: How Mable can help

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that occurs when a baby is born with an extra copy of chromosome 21. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which may cause intellectual and learning disabilities as well as physical challenges for the person as they grow.

However, it’s important to remember that: 

  • Down syndrome is a genetic condition
  • It is not an illness or a disease
  • It is a lifelong condition and there’s no cure for it
  • As a genetic disorder, it cannot be prevented and no one is to blame
  • Each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual with their own personality, passions, strengths and weaknesses, just like anyone else
  • They also have their individual needs for support as they go through life. 

Support for Down syndrome

Individuals, children or adults, with Down syndrome may experience some health challenges, physically and intellectually. These may include congenital heart disease, intellectual disability or learning difficulties, hearing loss, hypothyroidism, diabetes, Coeliac disease, anxiety and depression, among others.

As they get older, individuals with Down syndrome may develop Alzheimer’s disease, mental health difficulties (anxiety, depression) become more susceptible to pneumonia, coeliac disease, chronic constipation, GORD (Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease). They may experience other ageing-related health issues such as arthritis, osteoporosis and dementia as well.

As a result, different people across a range of age groups need different types of support. Booking independent support workers on Mable to receive support for Down syndrome can greatly improve health and wellbeing for the person, as well as helping them develop or maintain their independence.

Support workers to assist a person with Down syndrome 

Independent support workers on Mable are well experienced in providing support across all aspects of life, whether it be personal care, domestic assistance, nursing support, meal preparation, learning a new skill, support with social participation or travel, among others.

Find out more about the support types clients can find on Mable. You can create a team of support workers who can assist the person in different areas of their life. Find out why building a support team can be extremely beneficial for the person receiving support.

Support workers for children with Down syndrome

Like all children, kids with Down syndrome need support to grow, play and learn. Due to the health challenges they may face, however, they may need some support in certain aspects of their life. 

Children with a Down syndrome diagnosis are eligible for NDIS funding. Once you receive your funding, you can start connecting with supports, such as early interventions including physiotherapy and speech therapy. You can find independent support workers on Mable and pay privately even if you’re not eligible for the NDIS.

Parents can build a team of support workers on Mable to engage them in several ways:

  • Engaging the child in play to promote good physical health 
  • Engaging in activities such as reading and writing to improve their learning and communication abilities as well as fine motor skills to supplementing what’s being taught in the school
  • Skill building; you can find support workers on Mable that have the specific skills you’re looking for (such as playing the guitar, learning how to dance, learning the sign language)
  • Support in setting up a daily routine to make them feel settled (like getting ready, travelling to school, play time, mealtimes, etc.)
  • Support with medical checkups like hearing, eyesight and other health checks
  • Respite care for parents 
  • Support with building their independence in general and encouraging social participation
  • Support with personal care.

Support workers for adults with Down syndrome 

Support for adults with Down syndrome can differ based on their needs. Not all adults with Down syndrome need the same kind of support or in the same aspects of life. People with the condition over the age of 7 aren’t automatically eligible for the NDIS. Learn more about applying for access to the NDIS. Remember, you can find independent support workers on Mable and pay privately even if you’re not eligible for the NDIS.

Depending on the person’s needs, they can build a team of support workers on Mable to engage them in many ways:

  • Support with day to day tasks, such as cleaning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, laundry
  • Support with personal care
  • Study assistance if the person is interested in pursuing a certification or higher education program
  • Managing budgets and finances, paying bills, assistance with banking, etc.
  • Skill building in different ways (learning to play an instrument, photography or how to cook)
  • Driving to and from appointments 
  • Accompanying the person on outings, a trip or social events
  • Transitioning to independent living. Support workers can help connect the individual with the right type of accommodation and help with forms, interviews and documentation
  • Support with finding and maintaining employment, and volunteer opportunities
  • Engaging in physical exercise and participating in other activities of their interest (like fishing or painting)
  • Support them to develop their overall sense of independence.

Having a support team in place can help make a child or adult’s life fulfilling and enjoyable and make a world of difference to the person needing support. Start building your support team on Mable today. 

FAQs

Aside from obviously the person’s family, friends and loved ones, there is plenty of support in the community available to people with Down syndrome. Here are some resources, state by state.

People with Down syndrome enjoy making friends, having relationships, going to work and school, and exploring the world, just like anyone else. The best way to help is to approach the person as you would any other, while being mindful of their physical and emotional challenges.

Learn the particular needs and challenges of the child and work to support them. Seek advice from their parents and/or therapists to find the best ways of reaching them, emotionally. Understand that their physical limitations may also play a factor in what they reasonably can and can’t do.

If your child or another loved one or friend lives with Down syndrome, learn about the disorder to better understand it. Be encouraging and supportive and understand their behavioural or medical issues. Consider joining a support group to access advice and learn from others about their experiences.

People with Down syndrome are individuals with unique skills, challenges and goals. Supporting them can require patience and a willingness to understand each of these things from their perspective. Routines and clear instructions can often be useful when introducing new skills and learning new tasks. Supporting the person to have a real voice in their lives is essential – seeking feedback, listening to their ideas and respecting their opinions. 

Helping the person understand their own health challenges is also important, encouraging healthy eating, regular exercise and attendance at routine health appointments.

Most of all your support can contribute to building a good life for a person with Down syndrome and educate others about their unique personality and their role as a valued member of our community.

You can access support through Mable to help with education, employment, relationships, exercise and other elements of daily living.

back to top