(This is an old post, revived. You will notice some of the comments date back to June 3.)
Dr Cathy Baldwin-Johnson's letter regarding Sarah Palin's health and the book Trailblazer make references to Trig's heart condition.
I have gathered some information on prematurity, known health risks faced by children with Down's Syndrome, advice on early intervention and funding for children with special needs in Alaska.
Advice on premature babies born without Down's Syndrome:
Even though your nurse practitioner told you it is safe to give birth after 35 weeks, ideally a baby should develop a little longer inside its mother. Premature babies are small (less than 6 pounds), and may have trouble with feeding, breathing on their own, maintaining their temperature, and jaundice. On the other hand, most babies born after 35 weeks will ultimately do well if they receive good medical care in a neonatal intensive care nursery.
Parents who decide to continue the pregnancy should be advised that there is an increased risk of fetal demise in trisomy 21 pregnancies.
The mother and father of a newborn with Down syndrome should be encouraged to take adequate family leave before returning to work outside the home. The most intense bonding between parents and infant occurs in the first few weeks after birth. Bonding time may be especially important for the family of an infant with Down syndrome. Over this period, the new parents can become comfortable providing for the special needs of their child, and they can also begin to develop coping strategies for the future.
When the parents return to work, they may need assistance in finding appropriate day care. Most large day care centers accept children with Down syndrome. However, in these large centers, the infants with congenital heart defects may be at increased risk of infection and resultant congestive heart failure. Alternatives include in-home care or a home day care setting with a smaller number of children. A smaller day care facility can often maintain stricter infection control measures.
Children with DS often have medical problems such as chronic pulmonary hypertension, frequent infections, and pulmonary vascular overperfusion and injury from existing or previous cardiac defects. These problems all may be viewed as risk factors for HAPE (high-altitude pulmonary edema) and thus result in the rapid development of HAPE at low altitudes. Care should be taken when traveling to even moderate altitudes with children with DS.
Early intervention refers to all the ways that services aim to support babies and children with Down syndrome from birth to 5 years. These include health care, physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy and educational programmes designed to promote all areas of a child's development.
The rate of progress that children made depended on the amount of time their mothers had available to spend with them.
The first years of life are a critical time in a child’s development. All young children go through the most rapid and developmentally significant changes during this time. During these early years, they achieve the basic physical, cognitive, language, social and self-help skills that lay the foundation for future progress, and these abilities are attained according to predictable developmental patterns. Children with Down syndrome typically face delays in certain areas of development, so early intervention is highly recommended. It can begin anytime after birth, but the sooner it starts, the better.
Early intervention is a systematic program of therapy, exercises and activities designed to address developmental delays that may be experienced by children with Down syndrome or other disabilities. These services are mandated by a federal law called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The law requires that states provide early intervention services for all children who qualify, with the goal of enhancing the development of infants and toddlers and helping families understand and meet the needs of their children. The most common early intervention services for babies with Down syndrome are physical therapy, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.
Alaska budget for Special Needs Education:
Under Sarah Palin, funds decreased from a planned budget of 8265.3 to 3156.0.
I have a few questions arising from all of the above.
Should a 44 year old pregnant woman carrying a baby with Down's Syndrome have clocked over 18,000 air miles in the third trimester of her pregnancy? These air miles include the wild ride, when said mother was leaking/not leaking amniotic fluid and was in labour/not in labour.
Should a premature baby with Down's Syndrome and a hole in his heart have gone to work with his mother three days after birth? I have a feeling Trig was born sometime before April 18...
Should a premature baby with Down's Syndrome and a hole in his heart have gone on a countrywide gruelling political campaign, flying between venues where he was passed from person to person, subjected to bright lights, high levels of noise, disrupted routines, etc, etc?
When would the above baby have received any necessary therapy to give him a chance to reach developmental milestones?
How could Sarah Palin make rousing speeches during the campaign,
"To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."
then proceed to cut the budget for special schools in Alaska?
Do you believe $arah Palin is Trig's real mother?
Click on pictures to enlarge