Just how much do you know about Down syndrome? How much of that information is accurate? These few tips will help you answer the questions:
Down Syndrome is a condition and not a disease.
It is Down syndrome and not Downs syndrome. Also, do not refer to a baby as a Downs child it is offensive. It is polite to say, “that individual has Down syndrome.” This condition does not define who they are or what they can do.
The word “RETARD” is very offensive when used to describe individuals with Down syndrome.
Down Syndrome occurs when an individual has an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. This means that the body cells have extra genetic material and the development of the baby is altered. This alteration will cause the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that is not hereditary
The exact cause of that extra chromosome is unknown. Tests can be carried out on expectant mothers to determine the risk of having a baby with Down syndrome.
Many individuals with Down syndrome grow up to hold jobs, live independently, and enjoy normal recreational activities
There are three types of Down syndrome: Trisomy 21(nondisjunction), translocation and mosaicism. Trisomy 21 is the most common type of Down syndrome.
Any baby regardless of race, economic status can be born with Down syndrome. There is no formula to how a baby can be born with the condition. It is like flipping a coin, you can get a tail or a head. Likewise,you can have a healthy baby or one with Down Syndrome.
People with Down Syndrome have increased risk of suffering from various medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory infections e.g. pneumonia, thyroid conditions etc. Most conditions can be treated. This means that people with Down Syndrome can lead healthy lives.
Common physical traits of Down Syndrome are: low muscle tone,small stature, an upward slant to the eyes and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. As I write these traits, I remember my mother taking my sister’s hand and showing me how different her palm was from mine. I never understood or saw a difference but over the years, I have slowly come to understand.
I also remembered a lady who told me that my sister had been bewitched, what a sad society. I was pained by this utterance but then again, the information gap on issues concerning Down syndrome is too wide. I had to sit her down and teach her a few facts on the condition.