October brings Awareness to Down Syndrome. What is Down Syndrome? Down Syndrome is a condition where a person has an extra chromosome. Most babies are born with 46 chromosomes. Babies born with Down Syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, called Chromsome 21. Another term for having an extra chromosome is called, “Trisomy”. Having the extra chromosome changes how a child’s body and brain develop, which sometimes causes both mental and physical challenges.
Children with Down Syndrome might act and look similar, each one has different abilities. When having Down Syndrome, children and adults usually have an IQ in the mid-low range and are slower to speak than others. Down Syndrome typically comes with some physical features such as these from the CDC:
A flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose
Almond-shaped eyes that slant up
A short neck
A tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth
Tiny white spots on the iris (colored part) of the eye
Small hands and feet
A single line across the palm of the hand (palmar crease)
Small pinky fingers that sometimes curve toward the thumb
Poor muscle tone or loose joints
Shorter in height as children and adults
In the U.S. 6,000 babies are born with Down Syndrome, meaning 1 in 700 babies will develop the extra chromosome. There are three types of Down Syndrome, each are similar in physical features, and behaviors. Trisomy 21, Translocation Down Syndrome, Mosaic Down Syndrome. No one knows why Down Syndrome occurs, it typically happens when Women 35 years or older become pregnant however; DS occurs more in women younger than 35 because there are more births amount younger women.
Your doctor can have a diagnosis done or screening tests to help detect Down Syndrome. Typically people with DS also have other major birth defects and medical problems. Hearing loss, eye diseases, heart defects and more. So it is important to see your doctor for early diagnosis. Down Syndrome is a lifelong condition and this month we bring awareness. For more information visit cdc.gov.