Ejercicios de estimulación cognitiva para personas con síndrome de Down

Cognitive stimulation exercises for people with Down syndrome


Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra chromosome. People with Down syndrome have all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. Down syndrome is not a disease and therefore does not require any medical treatment.

But this genetic alteration causes slower development so it is imperative that children with Down syndrome attend Early Care programs from birth.

Early Care

These programs are aimed at children with Down syndrome between 0 and 6 years and try to reduce the maturity delay associated with this intellectual disability by taking advantage of the neuroplasticity of the brain, ie the potential that the brain has to modify and adapt. In short, these programs seek to stimulate psychomotor, cognitive, linguistic and socio-affective development.

Cognitive stimulation against functional decline

In addition, most studies agree that 45 years old is the time when people with intellectual disabilities begin to exhibit symptoms of functional decline that indicate the onset of premature aging. For this reason, cognitive stimulation is recommended for all people with Down syndrome in order to help prevent and slow down cognitive decline.

NeuronUP‘s cognitive stimulation program allows neuropsychologists, occupational therapists and speech therapists to adapt each activity to the particularities and needs of each person with Down syndrome.

The examples of cognitive stimulation exercises for people with Down syndrome described here have been developed by NeuronUP under the principles of generalization.

Cognitive stimulation exercises for people with Down syndrome

Below, we propose five cognitive stimulation exercises for people with Down syndrome:

1. Incomplete images

We cannot always see an entire object, however, if we see significant parts of it we should be able to recognize which object it is. If our patient has difficulties doing just that, this cognitive stimulation card will be useful.

How is it played?

The patient has to select the option that properly completes the image.

Ejercicios de estimulación cognitiva para personas con síndrome de Down
NeuronUP Activity “Imágenes incompletas”

Play by levels

In the simpler levels it will be easier to select the option that best completes the image, while in the more advanced levels it will be more difficult for the patient to locate the remaining part.

In addition, this card is also available in both digital and paper format.

Cognitive Functions

This activity stimulates in a particular way the visual gnosis, that is to say, the capacity to recognize, in a visual way, diverse elements and to attribute meaning to them: objects, faces, places, colors, etc.

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2. Size Comparison

How is it played?

In this activity the patient has to determine the size ratio between a series of images.

In the following example the patient has to sort the apples from smallest to largest:

Play by levels

In the simpler levels it will be easier to compare the size as the difference will be very big and there will only be two or three objects, while in the more advanced levels for it will be more and more complicated as there will be four or five objects of very similar sizes.

In addition, this card is also available in both digital and paper format.

Cognitive Functions

This activity particularly stimulates processing speed, i.e. the rate at which the brain performs a task (this obviously varies according to the task, depending on the other cognitive functions involved in the task).

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3. Hidden letters

How is it played?

The patient has to search among a set of letters only for the letter indicated, in this case the letter “Q”.

Ejercicios de estimulación cognitiva para personas con síndrome de Down
NeuronUP Activity “Hidden Letters”

Personalization of the activity

In addition, you can customize the activity to suit the capabilities of each patient.

General Aspects

The professional will be able to adjust the general aspects, i.e. the type of operation, the maximum time, whether or not you want a visible timer for the activity, inactivity warning and if you want to modify the instructions, etc.

Parameters

The parameters, specific to this activity, allows you to select the size of the matrix, the type and number of letters and whether you want different colors or not.

Cognitive Functions

The main objective of this exercise is to work on selective attention, which consists of the ability to focus on something in particular while ignoring other stimuli.

We also work on heminegligence, which is the great difficulty or inability to direct attention towards one of the sides (usually the left), both in relation to one’s own body and to space.

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Activities of daily living are those activities that increase a person’s independence and adaptation to the environment. And they are ideal for working with people with Down syndrome. We suggest you try the activity “Get dressed”. It is available for both genders. 

How is it played?

This activity consists of dressing the silhouette in an appropriate way, taking into account both the place and order of placement of each garment and the type of situation.

Play by levels

In the simplest levels there are fewer commands and more instructions in the program to perform the activity correctly, while in the more difficult levels the indications decrease and the demand for clothing is more complex.

Personalization de la actividad

In addition, you can customize the activity to suit the capabilities of each patient.

General Aspects

You can adjust the general aspects such as the number of exercises, the maximum time, whether or not you want a visible timer for the activity and modify the instructions, etc.

Parameters

The features you can personalize specific to this game include: select the number of garments, the scenario, if you want add a distraction, how many mistakes can be made, the presentation of the garment, and so on.

Adaptability

Finally, you can select whether you want the movement of garments to be dragged or move them by clicking on the garment already selected. Depending on the functionality of the patient the professional can choose one or the other option.

Cognitive Functions

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5. Mandalas

How is it played?

This worksheet consists of coloring mandalas following the model. It is available in both digital and paper formats.

Ejercicios de estimulación cognitiva para personas con síndrome de Down
NeuronUP Activity “Mandalas”

Play by levels

In the simpler levels it will be easier as there will be fewer parts to paint and there will be fewer colors, while in the more advanced levels for it will be more and more complicated as there will be more parts to paint and more colors.

In addition, this worksheet is also available in digital format as well as on paper.

Cognitive Functions

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If you liked this article about cognitive stimulation exercises for people with Down syndrome, you may also be interested in the following information:

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NeuronUP

Especialistas en estimulación cognitiva at NeuronUP
Herramienta profesional de neurorrehabilitación
NeuronUP
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