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Having Downs syndrome and keeping well (easy read)

​​About Downs syndrome and learning disabilities

When you have Downs syndrome it is important to keep healthy.

You might have other disabilities and support needs as well.

​If you have Downs syndrome you will also have a learning disability.

A learning disability is when you have difficulty understanding information.

​This means you might need help and support with some everyday tasks.

​Or you might be very independent and have a job.

​Just like everyone you will have different needs.

​Downs syndrome and autism

You might have autism.

Autism does not go away, you have it your whole life.

​If you have autism you might find it hard to understand what others are thinking or feeling.

You might get very anxious.

You  might like or not like some smells, touch, tastes, sounds or bright lights.

​You might have a special skill or interest and be really good at something.

​Autism is different for everyone.

​Downs syndrome and communication

Communication is talking, signing and listening.

We all communicate every day in our own way.

​You might need support with your speaking and making sure people understand you.

​You might use Makaton sign language and communication picture boards.

​You might need help seeing and hearing.

You will need to have your eyes and hearing checked every year.

​You might need to wear glasses to help you see.

You might need to have hearing aids to help you hear well.

Downs syndrome and other health conditions

It is important that you have a health check every year.

This is because when you have Downs syndrome there are some health problems that you might get.

Some people with Downs syndrome are born with a heart problem.

​You do not need to worry.

Your doctor will tell you how to keep your heart healthy.


From the age of 30 some people with Downs syndrome might slowly start to show signs of dementia.

​Dementia is the word given to changes in your memory, thinking, language and behaviour.

​Dementia is caused by diseases that damage your brain. 

The most common type of dementia is caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

​You might forget things, get confused and find it harder to do your normal activities.

​There might be medicines that can help.

Your doctor can talk to you about these.

Keeping well

There are things you can do to stay well.

​You might put on weight easily.

​This means it is good for you to choose healthier foods most of the time.

You might need to eat a little bit less to stay a healthy weight.

It is better not to smoke.

Try not to drink too much alcohol. 

You can talk to your doctor or nurse about what is healthy for you.

​Keep active and get lots of exercise. 

Sleep well.

​Be social and see family and friends.

​Learn new things and do activities you enjoy.

​You are more likely to become very unwell if you catch an infection or virus like the flu.

You can choose to get vaccines to protect you every year.

​For more information, you can talk to your doctor or nurse.

Contact us

Adult Learning Disability Service
Eagle House
Don Road
St Helier

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