Down Syndrome

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Diagnosis and Overview

Down syndrome is caused when you have 47 chromosomes instead of 46. Your son or daughter will be diagnosed at birth or shortly after. Their diagnosis is based on if they have these four physical traits.

  • low muscle tone
  • Slightly flattened facial profile
  • Single crease upon palm of their hand
  • Upward slant to eyes
The doctors diagnosis will then be confirmed by a chromosome chart (karyotype) which provides proof of having the extra chromosome.

Features

Your son or daughter may or will be experiencing these emotional and mental features around certain ages. Limitation with language, communication, cognition, and non-verbal problem solving abilities, all of which progress as you get older.

Young and early school age:

  • Disruptive, impulsive, inattentive,hyperactive,and oppositional behaviors (ADHD)
  • Anxious, stuck, ruminative, inflexible behaviors,
  • Deficits in social relatedness, self-immersed, repetitive stereotypical behaviors
  • Chronic sleep difficulties, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and mood related problem
Older school age adolescents and young adults:
  • Depression, social withdrawal, diminished interests, and coping skills
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive behaviors
  • Regression with decline in loss of cognitive and social skills
  • Chronic sleep difficulties, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and mood related problems
Older adults present and have or will have increased vulnerability to:
  • Generalized anxiety
  • Depression, social withdrawal, loss of interest, and diminished self-care
  • Regression with decline in cognitive and social skills
  • Dementia
Your son or daughter will or may have also have these physical conditions:
  • Low muscle tone
  • Flat facial features with a small nose
  • Upward slant to the eyes
  • Small skin folds on the inner corner of eye
  • Single deep crease across the center of the palm
  • Hyperflexibility
  • Fifth finger had only one flexion furrow instead of two
  • Extra space between the first and second toe
  • Enlarged tongue that tends to stick out
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How To Help

Your child will have a team of physicians to help them with their affects that they have from the Genetic disorder (Refer to above)

Who to get help from

The team of the Physicians will include (but not limited to) Physicians, special educators, speech and occupational therapists, and physical and social workers.

Physical Therapy: Helps build up motor skills, increase muscle strength and most importantly it lays down the foundation for other skills and helps avoid long term problems

Speech Therapy: Improves communication skills and teaches how to use language efficiently

Occupational Therapy: Helps find ways to adjust everyday tasks to match the persons needs and abilities. Also helps them find a career.

Emotional and Behavioral Therapy: Finds useful responses to desirable and undesirable behaviors, helps with ADHD and other compulsive behaviors, and helps figure out why your child is acting a certain way and tries to fix it.

By starting this early it is proven that the patient will live a longer life. On average people with Down Syndrome live to be 55 years old but many still live into their 60's and 70's.

At school

Your child will have a hard time learning and keeping up in school that's why its best to have a teaching aid. Your child also have to take classes that are all with kids with special Ed. It's proven that when they are around other kids dealing with the same problems they tend to connect more in class.

At Home

Your child will need a lot of support and that starts with at home. Depending on your child's condition what they can and can't do varies. One thing that a lot of people who have Down Syndrome experience is bad eye sight. Some of which makes them unable to be able to drive. One way you can lesson your child's symptoms is by having early intervention services like physical and speech therapy. At home will need to make a few changes starting with how you or others act. People with Down Syndrome as you know develop a little later mentally and physically so you will have to give them a lot of support and be positive. Also your son or daughter may be taking a lot of medication so it's a great time to star getting organized. Lastly remember just because they have Down Syndrome doesn't mean they aren't like another teenager or child.

Citations

1.) Munir, K. (n.d.). Mental Health Issues & Down Syndrome. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://www.ndss.org/Resources/Health-Care/Associated-Conditions/Mental-Health-Issues--Down-Syndrome/

2.) Quinn, P. (2014, March 9). Children's Health. Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://www.m.webmd.com/children/understanding-down-syndrome-symptoms

3.) Facts About Down Syndrome. (n.d.). Retrieved March 11, 2015, from http://www.nads.org/pages_new/facts.html