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Recommendations to take advantage of the time of people with Down syndrome during quarantine

Actualizado: 28 dic 2020

Confinement is a complicated situation for everyone, even more so for people with intellectual disabilities for whom it can be more difficult to understand and face.
For this reason it is very important to establish routines to help them and help us cope with the confinement in the best possible way. Routines provide security and therefore reduce the anxiety caused by a situation in which no one is clear about what will happen in the future and about the changes that will come in the short and long term in all contexts.
That is why we ventured to provide a series of tips so that our children with disabilities remain not only in good psychological condition, but also in good physical condition and of course, contribute to preserve their intellectual functions.
First of all, and regardless of the fact that there is no possibility of going to care centers, schools or workplaces in person, we must try to give continuity as much as possible with our routine.

Particularly in the case of our entity, AVESID, and given the serious situation we are going through, and concerned as a consequence of the uncertainty that all this generates, parents, teachers or not, agree to put each of our talents to the benefit of our users and we launched a multidisciplinary virtual classroom in order to help facilitate care during this contingency. The EduCarte program, which is nothing more than a flying unit that consists of taking the school home to work in the pedagogical, artistic and musical areas.

The state of emergency in which much of the world is found generated by the pandemic and its serious consequences can have a greater or lesser effect on the mood of each person. Remaining confined to our homes is a complex situation because if something characterizes us in today's society, it is precisely the intense daily activity to which we are subjected.

 Although in other aspects of daily activity we can allow ourselves to be a little more flexible in terms of schedules, in routines such as sleep, food, exercise and activities that promote cognitive stimulation should not be missing in our schedule of I work with people with intellectual disabilities. Take into account that for sure we do not know how long the restriction of face-to-face activities will take, together with the convenience of making us as caregivers the decision of the convenience of leaving home taking into account particular health situations that define the people with special needs within higher risk groups.
Take into account that it is possible that in some countries the quarantine can be relaxed to a greater or lesser degree, which does not mean that the disease has disappeared, this does not mean that we will be able to go out at risk, because the disease if it continues latent; the decision we make of whether it is the right time to resume or not is there and from this.
Our first recommendation is to respect the usual sleep schedule. Sleeping gives your body and brain time to recover from the stresses of the day. After a good night's sleep, people perform better and are better able to make decisions. Sleeping contributes to feeling more alert, optimistic and to relating better to others. Sleeping also helps the body fight disease. It is very convenient to follow the recommendations to turn off electronic devices or the television at least an hour before going to bed.

It is advisable to start the morning with physical activity that allows them to activate. Exercising is the best way to oxygenate our body, activate our brain and combat sedentary lifestyle and obesity. There are quite a few funny videos on YouTube, for example, to exercise: dance therapy, yoga, insanity, for example.
It is also very important to take advantage of the morning, preferably between 8:00 am and 10:00 am to sunbathe because it is at this time that the effects of the sun's rays are least harmful to our health. Sunbathing allows us to capture vitamin D, this favors the care of the skin and the bone system.
 The end of the day can be dedicated to doing calmer and more relaxing activities, such as reading, listening to music, doing fine arts or painting, for example, in a warm and pleasant atmosphere. We can motivate our children to enjoy resources on their computers or tablets: there are currently many activities such as word searches, memory games, etc. with which they can not only be distracted but also help to preserve cognitive functions in good condition. There are also free courses and programs that you can use. However, we must be careful in the time that is dedicated to the use of electronic devices, as they create addiction and thus isolation.
We can design schedules of activities in which they participate in decision-making, as this will contribute to the motivation for their follow-up, as well as their autonomy, as it will be clear what to do throughout the day.
Food is also a fundamental aspect to consider. You have to keep the usual hours, eat healthy and without excesses. Good eating habits are the cornerstone of our health to look good, feel good and not get sick, and particularly in this global emergency that is not for play; It is never a good time to get sick, but this is the worst of times: take into account that attending a medical consultation at this time represents a greater risk of exposure to contagion.
Mealtimes should be relaxed and smooth spaces to enjoy the affection and family relationship, where we talk and share. We try to avoid distractions such as television and the use of telephones, it facilitates good eating practices and gives the opportunity for social interaction and cognitive development.

One of the objectives in this new situation is to maintain normality, so it is recommended to maintain the usual hygiene habits: get up early as we usually do, get dressed, comb our hair, as if we were going out to the street. It is a discipline that must be maintained because our brain is trained for it. This practice will help us feel a little more normal.
Explain to your child the prevention measures recommended by the World Health Organization for the prevention of COVID19. These practices are non-negotiable and you must be relentless with this: train to maintain frequent and correct hand washing and to count from 1 to 20 while soaping your hands, using the disinfectant gel, not touching your face, what when you cough or sneeze cover with your elbows and not your hands. Extreme measures will never be too much.
Finally, we must become aware that the best way to get out of the emergency is to work together, and the goal is to stay healthy physically, mentally and intellectually speaking.
One way to include people with disabilities is to provide them with as much information as possible and ACCESSIBLE about what is happening. They are active agents within society and face a similar or greater risk situation.
Don't leave them out.

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