Developmental Disabilities

Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

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Down syndrome is a condition in which a baby is born with an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in the body. They determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how, as the baby grows in the womb and after birth, the baby’s body functions. Normally, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes. Babies born with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes. This extra copy changes the body’s and brain’s normal development and causes mental and physical problems for the baby.

Even though people with Down syndrome might have some physical and mental features in common, symptoms of Down syndrome can range from mild to severe. Usually, mental development and physical development are slower in people with Down syndrome than in those without it.
Some common physical signs of Down syndrome include:

  • A flat face with an upward slant to the eye, a short neck, small ears, and a large tongue
  • Tiny white spots on the iris (colored part) of the eye
  • Small hands and feet
  • A single crease across the palm of the hand
  • Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb
  • Poor muscle tone or loose ligaments


www.ndss.org

National Down Syndrome Society

  • Down syndrome occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
  • Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. One in every 733 babies is born with Down syndrome.
    There are more than 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.
  • Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels.
    The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80 percent of children with down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.
  • People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer's disease, childhood leukemia, and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives.
  • Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.
  • People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.

 

 

Things you can do: Break down into simple tasks, positive reinforcements, visual cues, short sentences, demonstrate and repeat and encourage fine motor skills

A Drug For Down Syndrome - By Dan Hurley - an article about a Father whose child is born with Down Syndrome and how he as a neuro scientist could help her.

 

From 1989 - 1996 Dr. Turben was Assistant Professor of Teacher Education at John Carroll University. In addition to teaching Teach Education and Early Childhood-Special Education courses, she supervised masters and post-baccalaureate programs that lead to the PreK, Kindergarten, and Early Education of Handicapped Children validations. She has done research concerning the effectiveness of home visits, the importance of neighborhoods as social structures and parent involvement in schools.
Ask Dr. Susan