Down syndrome: The Building Strength Approach Part I

In recognition of World Down Syndrome Day, we have decided to do this two piece on the subject and the great results we have been getting by implementing the Building Strength (BS) Approach.

Down syndrome is a set of cognitive and physical symptoms that result from having an extra chromosome 21 or an extra piece of that chromosome. It is the most common chromosomal cause of mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. People with Down syndrome also have some distinct physical features, such as a flat-looking face, and they are at risk for a number of other health conditions, like allergies, heart disease, pulmonary (lung) problems, and risk of early onset dementia

So…since Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder, there really isn’t anything any one can do about it, right?

Well…not so fast…

Quite frankly, I had always had similar convictions about Down syndrome, as I have had about other genetic disorders, like sickle cell disease and cystic fibrosis.

That is, until I came across physical evidence, actual physical evidence that one could actually improve the cognitive, emotional and physical health of children with DS.


So children with Down syndrome are starting off in life at a distinct disadvantage, yes, but are there things we can do?

In DS in particular, the question was: we know good nutrition can influence mental health for the better, so then, how could we, by using nutrition alone, improve the mental health of these children with DS? To answer that, we had to do some real digging.

“Great artists steal…”

So what if we could borrow or even “steal” from some of the research findings that have recently begun to surface in the Western world and repurpose (or McGyver it) them so they can be applied successfully to our local environment?

Because, in my opinion, quite frankly, we need to explore every option possible so that children like Ahmed (below) can have a chance at a normal life

Under the supervision of the Nigerian Ministry of Health, we decided to do just that with the kids you see above.]]>