Human Development: Down Syndrome Research Papers Example
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Down syndrome is a human development condition, which arises when an individual has extra genetic material from chromosome 21. Individuals with Down syndrome are different in terms of their height, health, sociability, intelligence and so on: this they do not bare the same characteristics. Part for the Down syndrome condition is named after Dr. Langston Down (Down) and syndrome stands for a collection of symptoms or conditions. From the definition above, it is clear that when a child is born with the Down syndrome condition, their development will be hindered in some way: that is to say that this child might not get a chance to grow as a “normal” child. Some of the people will Down syndrome tend to be short, they have weight issues and their faces tend to have distinctive facial features. Some will even have the same intellectual capabilities as those termed as “normal”. But generally, the development will be hindered in one way or the other. Psychologists have gone deep into understanding this condition in terms of what causes it, how to cope with it among many other things. This paper looks into detail two papers that are based on Down syndrome condition, especially on women.
Where, when and how was the research conducted
The first study that will be reviewed in this paper is about the longevity of women with Down syndrome by Brian Chicoine and Dennis McGuire. They conducted their research in Chicago. They did the research by interviewing the patient, nurses who took care of her at the nursing home when she moved there, after the death of her last surviving sibling. They also interviewed people from the National Association for Down syndrome who brought the issue of ‘Ann’ to their attention back in 1993. The second study is conducted by Susan Haverty, a certified HANDLE practitioner. The case study of this second research is Neurodevelopmental progress for a male child who had Down syndrome, Nystgmus, Myopia and severe digestive issues with pica. The assessment of this patient was done in November 2008 when the patient was six years old. A review of the assessment was conducted later in January and April 2009.
What was the purpose of the research article?
The sole purpose of the research conducted by Brian and Dennis was to find out the longevity of women with Down syndrome since it has increased with years. During the early years of the 20th Century, the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome was nine years. The aim of this research was to describe the case of a woman who lived for over eighty years despite the fact that she had Down syndrome. The purpose of the second research by Susan Haverty was to demonstrate the results that can be achieved by implementation of an individualized HANDLE program. HANDLE stands for the Holistic Approach to Neurodevelopment and Learning Efficiency. The creator and founder of HANDLE, Judith Bluestone, have published a paper that explains details of the HANDLE paradigm for understanding behaviors and their main causes; the name of the paper is The Fabric of Autism: Weaving the Threads into a Cogent Theory (Hayes, 2000).
What were the results or findings of the research?
Results for the first research on the longevity of women with Down syndrome was that there was better treatment of congenital heart diseases and infectious diseases (Chicoine & McGuire, 1996). From their research, it is clear that forty to fifty per cent of the children born with Down syndrome are born with congenital heart disease and forty three per cent of these died by the age of ten, by 1943. There has been great improvement of surgical techniques to correct congenital heart defects over the years thus leading to increase in the life expectancy of people with Down syndrome. The paper also suggests that the decrease in the death rates of people with Down syndrome is the improvement in antibiotics therapy. Respiratory infections are the top most causes of death for people with Down syndrome and an improvement in treatment and medication in this area increases the life expectancy of these people. Another final factor in short life expectancy is lack of mobility or poor feeding skills (Chicoine & McGuire, 1996). People with severe mental retardation, which can also be found in people with Down syndrome, lack mobility and thus feeding themselves can be a bit hard. It is very crucial for one to be in a position to feed for them especially if they live in a place where people do not really care about them. In the early years, most parents who had children with Down syndrome shipped them off to home care facilities. Some of these people were not well fed or taken care of in these places, thus leading to their short life expectancy. From their research, Chicoine and McGuire (1996) concluded that living a good life with good care and food could be a possible reason to one of the reasons why this lady lived long. The findings of the second research were that the patient by the name ‘MH’ had a reduced sense of Smell. Due to this, he ate anything that he lay his hands on, including faeces (Haverty, 2009). M is also a poor sleeper and sleepwalks up to eight times in a night, he has low muscle tones thus tiring easily and has difficulties with balance and is constantly on the move. Another finding was that M had difficulties with expressive language and articulation and augmented that with sign language. He is also very tactile sensitive with his face and hates having it cleaned up and had chronic diarrhea when he was assessed, though there was no bowel or bladder movement. The patient also had difficulties sustaining visual focus and nystagmus. The findings of the first review, which was done in January 2009, show that M was fully toilet trained and had one to two well-formed stools in a day. The review also shows that M had an acupuncture treatment to treat intestinal pathogens after his HANDLE session. His articulation had also improved, though slightly, and the amount of his dribbling had also reduced. M was stubborn in participating in some activities in the HANDLE program. The second review conducted in April 2009 shows that there was great improvement especially since he was participating in activities that he had previously declined to take part in. he was in a position to request the toilet himself and had only “one’ accident in the past month. He had stopped dribbling and rarely made any mess while eating. He had improved his use of the fork or spoon rather than finger feeding (Haverty, 2009). The articulation of his speech together with the vocabulary had also improved. His sleep pattern had also improved with him sleep walking once or twice a night.
What can be concluded from the research? Are there any future recommendations or limitations discussed?
Future recommendations from the first research are that doctors and psychologists review their first stand where they believed that people with Down syndrome suffered from Alzheimer’s. The patient that Chicoine and McGuire (1996) were studying did not have Alzheimer’s even during her time of death. From the second research, it can be concluded HANDLE program and any other such program that are in existence are good for people or children with Down syndrome and other related complications. The case of M shows great improvement with him improving his speech, learning how to use a fork or a spoon and the toilet (Haverty, 2009). All of these are ways through which people with such complications in life can be taught and be useful to them. The paper has not offered any future recommendations, though Susan has great hopes in seeing more progress with M as she continues to work with him (Haverty, 2009).
Why did the 2 research articles inspire you to want to use them in your paper?
The above two research papers inspired me to use them in my paper simply because they cover one area that I have seen people in my daily life and circles avoid. People with Down syndrome sometimes are treated in a manner that is not very pleasing, especially those whio have other complications such as M. some people cannot offer any kind of help to such people and kids simply because they are afraid of them. Another reason is that I wanted to find out how long people with Down syndrome lived; if their life expectancy was the same as those people who did not have Down syndrome.
What impact or potential does this research have in the ‘real world’ lives of everyday people?
The potential of this research in the future of the ‘real world” is that people can learn and understand that people with Down syndrome and other related complications are no different from the rest of the people who are considered as normal. With such light into the matter, people should learn that people with such conditions can be taught how go through everyday life without much help. It will also shed light into the availability of medication, surgery and other treatment methods for people with Down syndrome, this prolonging their life expectancy.
What future directions should research in this area possibly go?
Future research dealing with Down syndrome should look into matters that can improve the mobility of people with low muscle tone and suffer from Down syndrome. Most of the research has studied the most crucial parts of the lives of people with Down syndrome, especially when it comes to their health. More research should however be put in finding out if these people can learn or be taught how to improve their intelligence.
Chicoine, B., & McGuire, D. (1996). Longevity of a Woman With Down Syndrome: A Case
Haverty, S. (2009). Neurodevelopmental progress for a male child who had Down syndrome,
Nystgmus, Myopia and Severe Digestive issues with Pica. The HANDLE Institute.
Hayes, N. (2000). Foundation of Psychology. London: South-Western.
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