In what way does Down’s syndrome affect development?

Learning difficulties

All children with Down’s syndrome suffer a degree of developmental difficulty; children with Down’s syndrome tend to develop slower than other children and they have trouble learning new concepts and retaining information. The extent of the learning difficulties depends on the individual; some people only have mild learning difficulties, while others are affected more severely.

People with Down’s syndrome have a much lower IQ than other people; the average score amongst those with Down’s syndrome is 50, while the average for people without the condition is 100.

Common problems associated with children with Down’s syndrome include:

  • A lack of concentration
  • Problems with both short-term and long-term memory
  • Difficulty solving problems and working out how and why things work
  • Difficulty understanding outcomes and consequences

Growth and development

Children with Down’s syndrome often develop more slowly than other children, in terms of both physical growth and mental development. Most children with Down’s syndrome are much shorter than other children of a similar age and the average height for adults is much shorter than the average for people without the condition; men usually reach an average of 5’2, while women reach an average of 4’6.

Babies and small children usually take much longer to sit up independently, crawl and walk and they will usually take longer to learn to read, communicate and engage in social situations.

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