Down's Syndrome

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causes

Down syndrome results when abnormal cell division involving chromosome 21 occurs. These cell division abnormalities result in extra genetic material from chromosome 21, which is responsible for the characteristic features and developmental problems of Down syndrome. Any one of three genetic variations can cause Down syndrome:

systoms/characteristics

  • Flattened facial features
  • Small head
  • Short neck
  • Protruding tongue
  • Upward slanting eyes, unusual for the child's ethnic group
  • Unusually shaped or small ears
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Broad, short hands with a single crease in the palm
  • Relatively short fingers and small hands and feet
  • Excessive flexibility
  • Tiny white spots on the colored part (iris) of the eye called Brushfield spots
  • Short height
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    treatment

    Ask your health care provider about early intervention programs in your area. Available in most states, these special programs offer children with Down syndrome stimulation at an early age with appropriate sensory, motor and cognitive activities.

    Programs may vary, but they usually involve therapists and special educators whose goal is to help your baby develop motor skills, language, social skills and self-help skills

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    life expectancy

    It is now above 50 years with 1:10 living to 70 years of age (Baird & Sadovnick, 1987).
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    facts about down syndrome

    There are approximately 400,000 people living with Down syndrome in the United States.

    Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.

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