World Down’s Syndrome Day: What is the genetic condition?

Down’s syndrome is a genetic situation brought on by the presence of an additional chromosome in a child’s cells.

It’s sometimes identified at delivery and might trigger studying disabilities along with sure bodily traits.

As folks across the globe mark World Down Syndrome Day in a bid to lift consciousness for the situation that impacts roughly 40,000 folks within the UK, right here’s all the things you should find out about Down’s Syndrome.


What’s Down’s syndrome?

Down’s syndrome is a congenital dysfunction that impacts roughly one in 1,000 infants born within the UK.

It usually causes distinct bodily traits meaning it may be simply identified quickly after delivery.

All pregnant ladies are supplied screening assessments for Down’s syndrome. The assessments themselves received’t have the ability to inform for sure whether or not or not an unborn youngster has the situation, however they may have the ability to point out the chance.

These with Down’s syndrome may have a studying incapacity, however the severity of this varies between sufferers, as no two folks with the situation expertise it in the very same approach.

What are the widespread bodily traits?

In keeping with the NHS, bodily traits which might be widespread for these with Down’s syndrome embody eyes that slant upwards, a flat again of the top, broad arms with quick fingers, below-average weight and a small mouth “with a tongue that they might stick out”. However folks with Down’s syndrome don’t all look the identical and, like non-sufferers, may even purchase some bodily traits from their mother and father.

They might additionally expertise hypotonia, which is the medical time period for decreased muscle tone.

What are the widespread psychological traits?

Whereas there are not any widespread character traits for these with Down’s syndrome, many will favour routine as a approach of sustaining management over their lives, claims the Down’s Syndrome Association.

Equally, folks with Down’s syndrome may use self-talk as a approach of directing their behaviour, expressing their emotions and making sense of what’s typically a really complicated world,” the charity’s web site reads.

All youngsters with Down’s syndrome may even expertise a point of studying incapacity and delays of their improvement. For instance, youngsters with the situation would possibly take longer to learn to stroll, discuss and stand than others. For these causes, they might want additional help at school.

The NHS states that one in 10 youngsters with Down’s syndrome may even produce other behavioural situations, resembling autism spectrum dysfunction or consideration deficit dysfunction.

What causes it?

Down’s syndrome is brought on by the presence of an additional chromosome 21 (along with the 46 most individuals have) that may come from the mom or the daddy.


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It’s not but recognized what causes this extra chromosome, however it could possibly happen in infants of all races and social backgrounds.

How is it managed?

Folks with Down’s syndrome can go on to reside wholesome and fulfilling lives as long as they get the help they want as a baby and into maturity.

There may be loads of help for folks whose youngsters have Down’s syndrome on the Down’s Syndrome Affiliation web site, with tips about how finest to assist your youngster with their studying and improvement.

These could embody taking part in video games to show them new phrases, encouraging them to socialize with different youngsters and inspiring them to be impartial.

There’s additionally loads of skilled help accessible, resembling speech and language remedy (this might help with any communication points) and physiotherapy to assist treatment muscle weak point.

Whereas there are particular colleges designed for these with studying difficulties, plenty of youngsters with Down’s syndrome are educated in mainstream colleges. But it surely’s price noting that the wants of a kid with Down’s syndrome will differ, and a few mother and father could select to speak to highschool employees about how finest to accommodate these earlier than enrolling them.

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