Children are cruel. They often exploit the weaknesses of others and don’t tolerate people who are too different from them. That is why very often children suffering from Down syndrome may be victimized by their peers.
How can you help?
Parents have an obligation to protect their children from harm. The most important thing you can do is watch closely and observe whether your child is behaving strangely or seems unusually down. Maintain a good relationship with your child, talk and listen. You’ll be able to catch the early signs of bullying and maltreatment if you just observe closely.
Children with DS usually go to special schools or are home-schooled. However, many studies show that children with Down syndrome do much better in normal schools. They are more challenged and perform better thanks to this. There are, however, drawbacks.
A child with DS in a normal school
This environment is more varied. Some pupils may even consider a child with Down syndrome a liability, because he or she may slow down the learning process for the whole class. Or they may just be mean.
Train with your child the right posture – standing as straight and proud as they can helps to avoid looking like a potential victim. Bullies rarely pick difficult targets, they stick to those who exude weakness and low self-esteem. So work on that, too. Send your child to physiotherapy to help improve their posture and self-esteem. Physiotherapy can also help with other issues your child might have.