Down syndrome is a genetic condition produced by an additional whole or partial copy of chromosome 21 due to faulty cell division. Down syndrome is characterised by developmental delays and physical characteristics caused by excess genetic material. Let's look at it in greater depth.
What are some of the physical characteristics of a newborn with Down syndrome?
The following are some of the most common physical indicators of Down syndrome:
Muscle tone that is low or non-existent
Excess skin at the back of the neck on a short neck
The nose and the profile of the face have been flattened.
Head, ears, and mouth are all little.
Eyes that are slanted upward, with a skin fold that extends from the upper eyelid and covers the inner corner of the eye.
On the pigmented area of the eye, there are white specks (called Brushfield spots)
Hands that are wide and short, with short fingers
The palm of the hand has a single deep furrow across it.
Between the first and second toes, there is a deep groove.
We have also created a detailed information guide on Down Syndrome that you can check out on our website as Down Syndrome Information Guide.
What are some of the potential complications for children with Down syndrome?
People with Down syndrome can suffer from a range of issues, some of which become more apparent as they get older. The following are examples of complications:
Heart problems: Approximately half of Down syndrome children are born with a congenital heart problem. These heart disorders can be fatal, and surgery may be required as early as infancy.
Defects in the gastrointestinal tract (GI tract): Some children with Down syndrome have GI abnormalities, which can include problems with the intestines, oesophagus, trachea, and anus. It's possible that you'll acquire digestive issues including GI obstruction, heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux), or celiac disease.
Immune system problems: People with Down syndrome are more likely to develop autoimmune illnesses, some types of cancer, and infectious diseases including pneumonia due to immune system abnormalities.
Apnea (sleep deprivation): Children and adults with Down syndrome are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea as a result of soft tissue and skeletal abnormalities that create airway blockage.
Obesity: Obesity is more common in people with Down syndrome than it is in the general population.
Spinal issues: The top two vertebrae in the neck may be misaligned in certain people with Down syndrome (atlantoaxial instability). Overextension of the neck, as a result of this disorder, puts individuals in danger of significant spinal cord injury.
Leukaemia: Leukaemia is more common in young children with Down syndrome.
Dementia: Dementia is much more common in people with Down syndrome, and symptoms can appear as early as age 50. Alzheimer's disease is more likely among people who have Down syndrome.
Other issues: Other health problems connected with Down syndrome include endocrine issues, dental issues, seizures, ear infections, and hearing and vision impairments.
Check out our blog on Treatments for Down Syndrome
Is there a link between Down syndrome and developmental delays in children?
When a child is born with an extra chromosome, he or she is diagnosed with Down syndrome. The additional chromosome has an impact on a child's brain and body development, including developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and an increased chance of certain medical problems.
Down syndrome, which affects about one in every 700 children, is the most frequent hereditary cause of intellectual disability. It was named after John Langdon Down, a British physician who identified the symptoms of Down syndrome for the first time in 1866.
The likelihood of a baby being born with Down syndrome rises with the mother's age:
1 out of every 1,000 babies born to women under the age of 30 is a girl.
1 in every 400 babies born to moms over the age of 35 is a girl.
1 in every 60 babies born to women over the age of 42 is a girl.
The majority of children with Down syndrome have some form of intellectual disability, which is usually mild to severe. People with modest intellectual disabilities can usually learn how to read, work, and use public transit on their own. People who have a moderate intellectual handicap typically require extra assistance.
Many children with Down syndrome can attend conventional classes, however, they may require additional assistance or adjustments. More persons with Down syndrome are graduating from high school, attending college, and working in their communities as a result of broad special education and community initiatives. Parents can seek out assistance programmes as soon as possible to help their children with Down syndrome attain their full potential.
How can you assist your child in adjusting to life with Down syndrome?
Most things that any young child can do are typically possible for children with Down syndrome. They are able to walk, communicate, dress, and use the restroom independently. However, they frequently do so at a later age than other youngsters. These developmental milestones occur at different ages for each child. Early intervention programmes, which begin while a kid is a baby, can assist the youngster in reaching his or her full potential.
A youngster with Down syndrome is capable of attending school. Children with Down syndrome benefit from special programmes that begin in the preschool years and help them develop their skills as fully as possible. Early intervention and special education are beneficial to many youngsters. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy may be required to aid your child's growth.
That is all for this blog. Hope you found it useful! Here's a blog on "How Is Down Syndrome Detected During Pregnancy".
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