Socially, teens who have Down
syndrome have the same needs as everyone else. Most will want to date,
socialize, and form intimate relationships. You can help your child develop healthy relationships by teaching appropriate social skills and behavior. Peer
self-esteem are affected by how well your preteen or
teen addresses these issues.
Here are some tips:
- As your child
puberty, teach proper
grooming and hygiene.
- Encourage your child to take part in school and community activities.
Teens usually graduate from high school,
unless their disabilities are severe. Provide opportunities for your child to form healthy friendships. This is critical for your
child's happiness and sense of belonging.
- Be aware of the
social difficulties and vulnerabilities your child
faces. Start early to prepare your child for healthy adult relationships and the possibility of an intimate relationship.
- Teach respect for his or her body and the
bodies of others.
- Talk openly about your morals and
sex education that is honest and presented in a way that your child can
understand. Talk about the reproductive and intimate aspects of
birth control methods and safe-sex practices to
sexually transmitted infections.
During your child's teen years, you may also want to start planning for your child's future jobs and living
arrangements. Many people who have Down syndrome live
independently as adults in group homes or apartments with support services. But
most group homes and community centers require a basic level of
self-sufficiency, such as being able to eat, dress, and bathe independently.
Vocational training helps many young adults learn how
to work in many settings, such as stores, restaurants, and
Most adults who have Down
syndrome function well in society. They often have regular jobs,
have friends and romantic relationships, and take part in community
An adult with Down syndrome benefits from working outside the
home and having social activities. Having an active lifestyle with continued
learning makes anyone, including a person with Down syndrome, feel more vibrant
and feel that his or her life is meaningful.
Adult day care may be an option. Or the Special Olympics and other activities that emphasize exercise might be options. Encourage
an adult's interests, such as in art or in hobbies such as drawing.