Monday, February 18, 2013

What is Down Syndrome?

I know some of you may not know what Down Syndrome is so I thought I would take this opportunity to tell you a few things.

-In most cases a person has 23 pairs of chromosomes inside their body, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down Syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Ds.

-Some common physical traits of Ds include: An upward slant to the eyes, low muscle tone, a single deep crease across the palm of the hands, and small stature to name a few. An individual with Ds may possess some of these characteristics to some degree, or not at all.

-One in every 691 babies are born with Ds in the United States, making Ds the most common genetic condition. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Ds, and about 6,000 babies are born with Ds in the United States each year.

-There are 3 different types of Down Syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction), translocation and mosaicism. Nondisjunction, or trisomy 21, accounts for 95% of cases.

-Down Syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels, though older women have an increased chance of having a child with Ds. However, due to higher birth rates in young women, 80% of children with Ds are born to women under 35 years of age.

-Due to advances in medical technology, individuals with Down Syndrome are living longer than ever before. In 1910, children with Ds were expected to live until age 9. Today, as many as 80% of adults with Ds reach age 60, and many live even longer. More and more Americans are interacting with individuals with Ds, increasing the need for widespread public education and acceptance.

-People with Ds 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 Ds lead healthy lives.

-All people with Down Syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses.

-Quality education programs, a stimulating home environment, good health care, and positive support from family, friends and the communicate enables those with Ds to develop their full potential and lead fulfilling lives.

(All the information above was taken from the ndss website. )
And of course, some pictures!




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