Down syndrome today
By Fernanda Travassos-Rodriguez
We have seen a great evolution of what exists in relation to Down Syndrome not only in our country, but worldwide. Developments in the medical field that result in increased expectations and quality of life, developments in the area of early stimulation that prepares children for a future that we cannot yet predict, as there is a whole generation of children with Down Syndrome that will growing up, having received innovative treatments in an early childhood. We still have evolutions in the educational area and also in the social area. This whole set has contributed significantly to the development of these individuals, which in Brazil, according to IBGE estimates made in the 2000 census, are on average 300 thousand.
Within psychology, I believe that the advent of cognitive science and neuroscience has contributed to the development of theories that help psychologists to think about the particularities and specificities of the cognition of the person with Down Syndrome who until a few years ago was considered an individual only “trainable ”. We now know that this was a myth and that the field was configured this way a lot due to the lack of research that could contribute to this understanding, and also the social segregation suffered by people with the syndrome, which inhibited the development of their cognitive skills, emotional and social.
In the area of family therapy, studies have also advanced and the theories that have emerged from the therapies of parent-baby relationships are also giving us new possibilities to act. The study of human “baby skills” from an early age has brought new horizons to the area and showing the importance of this type of intervention in families of children at risk of developmental delay, which includes Down Syndrome.