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A Coloring Book of Ancient China

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1 demonstrates, the children with Down’s syndrome are also a varied and diverse group. It is worth remembering, when considering the lifestyles of these children and their families, that, at the time of the interview, many of them were coping with at least one major source of potential stress or concern in addition to their child’s disability. Thirty-two per cent of the children lived with severe medical problems, which almost inevitably affected them and their families. Similarly, in 16 per cent of families, a sibling had a medical problem.

In six per cent of the families, a child had died before the birth of the child with Down’s syndrome. In eight per cent, the fathers were unemployed and the families were coping with the stress that can result from unemployment as well as with reduced financial circumstances. Four per cent were single-parent families and in 15 per cent of families, the marriage was a second one for one or both partners. Thirty-nine per cent of the families experienced at least one of these potential sources of stress and 13 per cent, more than one.

5 per cent were in parttime paid employment (Central Statistical Office, 1984). In 1984/ 85 when Study 4 was carried out, including only the mothers of older children (five to ten years), 57 per cent were in paid employment, a figure similar to the national figures for mothers in the same age range. More mothers in the cohort were in paid employment than the mothers in the comparison group. There is therefore some evidence that in the families who received early intervention, mothers may have been more likely to take employment.

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