Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that arises from the presence of a third chromosome on the 21st pair of chromosomes. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, a particular set of facial characteristics and a severe degree of intellectual disability.
Children with Down syndrome are usually faced with unique characteristics. They have a distinct facial appearance. Though not all children with Down syndrome have the same features, some of the more common features are:
- Flattened facial features
- Small head
- Short neck
- Protruding tongue
- Upward slanting eyes, unusual for the child’s ethnic group
- Unusually shaped ears
Children with Down syndrome may also have:
- Poor muscle tone
- Broad, short hands with a single crease in the palm
- Relatively short fingers
- Excessive flexibility
Infants with Down syndrome may be of average size, but typically their is slow and they remain shorter than other children of the same age. In general, developmental milestones, such as sitting and crawling, occur at about twice the age of children without impairment. Children with Down syndrome also have some degree of mental retardation, most often in the mild to moderate range.
Neurofeedback can help in managing the presenting cognitive and behavioural symptoms of this condition
Reseearch by Surmeli & Ertem (2007) showed improvement in cognitive functioning of 7 children diagnosed with Down syndrome based all areas evaluated based on the questionnaire assessing down syndrome and parent interviewing, and changes were equally found in QEEGs. Their research comprised initially of eight children diagnosed with down syndrome. They were not able to speak more than one word sentences and they had very limited vocabulary (between 5–10 words). They usually pointed a finger to communicate and were not able to engage in basic conversation. They also showed very poor attention and concentration, poor memory, impulsivity, behavior problems and in some cases, balance problems. After a total of 60 sessions, all children that underwent the therapy with the exception of one that dropped out, showed significant improvements.
Surmeli, T. & Ertem, A., (2007). EEG Neurofeedback Treatment of Patients with
Down Syndrome. Journal of Neurotherapy: Investigations in Neuromodulation, Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience. Vol 11, No.1,pp.63-68.