Down Syndrome Essay

Submitted By Bossladyruby1
Words: 2517
Pages: 11

Have you ever been in a situation where you were confronted by a child who has Down syndrome and were unsure of how to act around that child? I'm sure many of us have experienced the awkwardness that accompanies such a situation. Many people feel guilt or pity for these children; I believe these reactions result from a lack of knowledge about the condition. Which is why I have chosen this topic?

Down syndrome is a condition that cannot be physically passed on from one person to the next. It is a genetic disorder that is inherited through our parents when something goes wrong during pregnancy. As a result, they have a combination of features typical of Down syndrome, including some degree of cognitive disability, as well as other developmental delays. One thing we should always keep in mind is that they are children and having Down syndrome comes second.

Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder. It occurs in about 1 of every 800 births. People with Down syndrome may have mild to severe learning disabilities. Physical symptoms include a small skull, extra folds of skin under the eyes, and a protruding tongue. People with Down syndrome are subject to a variety of medical problems including heart abnormalities and thyroid gland dysfunction. Survival rates have been increased dramatically in recent years as problems specific to Down syndrome become known, allowing the early treatment. The life expectancy of people with Down syndrome now approaches that of people without it. Usually it’s around 55 years old. You would have numerous abnormalities; it wouldn’t go over well in school. People don’t accustom to that very well in public schools.

The genetic cause for Down syndrome is when a person inherits all or part of an extra copy of chromosome 21. Trisomy 21, the inheritance of an entire third copy of this chromosome, accounts for 95 percent of Down syndrome cases. Two other abnormalities each account for 2 to 3 percent of all cases. The first, translocation takes place when a child inherits an extra piece of chromosome 21 attached to a different chromosome. The second, called mosaic Down syndrome, results when only some cells in the body have the extra chromosome. There is no cure for Down syndrome although prenatal tests are available to identify fetuses with the disorder.

Down syndrome can be diagnosed just by looking at the baby at birth. The facial features and characteristics can tell you that. If the attending physician suspects Down syndrome, a karyotype – a blood or tissue sample stained to show chromosomes grouped by size, number, and shape – will be performed to verify the diagnosis. The most familiar physical traits of Down syndrome include:

· Low muscle tone

· Flat facial profile

· Upward slant to the eyes

· Abnormal shape and small size of the ears

· Single deep crease across the center of the palm

· Excessive ability to extend the joints

· Fifth finger has one bending joint instead of two

· Small skin folds on the inner corners of the eyes

· Excessive space between large and second toe

· Enlargement of tongue in relationship to size of mouth

The majority of these defects can be corrected, resulting in long-term health improvements. Children with Down syndrome also tend to have increased susceptibility to infection, respiratory problems, obstructed digestive tracts, and childhood leukemia.

According to the national Down syndrome society Down syndrome takes its name from Dr. Langdon Down. He was the first person to describe the syndrome in 1866. The earliest recorded incident of someone having Down syndrome dates back to an altar piece painted in a church in Aachen, Germany in 1504. Although the syndrome is named after Dr Langdon Down, he did not understand the condition, as we know it today. The syndrome was referred to as having mongolism. This was because people who have Down syndrome have