Down Syndrome: What You Need To Know

Written by: Neelu Prajapat.

If you have a child or are expecting a child, you must know about Down syndrome. This is a genetic disorder that can cause developmental delays and other health problems. In this blog post, we will discuss the causes of Down syndrome, as well as the symptoms and treatments.

What Is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is caused by an error in cell division. This results in an extra copy of chromosome 21. This extra chromosome can cause developmental delays and other health problems associated with Down syndrome.

What Are The Symptoms Of Down Syndrome?

The symptoms of Down syndrome vary from person to person, but a child with down syndrome can include:

  • Delayed development
  • Intellectual disability
  • Physical problems, such as a short neck, almond-shaped eyes, flat facial profile, small hands and feet
  • Heart defects
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the skeletal system
  • Behavioral and social issues, such as inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity
  • Anxiety or depression

What Causes Down Syndrome? Is It Hereditary?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that occurs when an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21. The cause of Down syndrome is not currently known, but it is believed to be due to a combination of environmental and genetic factors.

There is no definitive answer as to whether or not Down syndrome is hereditary, but it is believed that the risk of having a child with Down syndrome increases if there is a family history of the condition.

Types Of Down Syndrome

The most common type of Down syndrome is trisomy 21, which accounts for 95% of all cases. Trisomy 21 is caused by an error in cell division during the development of the embryo. This results in three copies of chromosome 21 instead of the usual two.

The other types of Down syndrome are much less common and include mosaic Down syndrome, translocation Down syndrome, and partial trisomy 21.

How Is Down Syndrome Diagnosed? What Tests Are Used?

Down syndrome is usually diagnosed before birth by prenatal testing, but can also be diagnosed after a baby is born by looking at the physical features of the baby.

Nuchal translucency (NT) test, which is usually done between the 11th and 14th week of pregnancy. This test is combined with a blood test and can be used to screen for Down syndrome as well as other conditions.

If the NT test is positive, or if the blood test is abnormal, then your doctor may recommend further testing. This can include

  • A fetal echocardiogram (a heart ultrasound) to check for congenital heart defects, which are common in babies with Down syndrome.
  • Amniocentesis is usually done between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy and involves taking a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby.
  • Chorionic villus sampling

    How will Down Syndrome affect my child throughout their life span?

Down syndrome is a lifelong condition, but there have been major advances in medical care and support that can help people with Down syndrome live full, happy lives.

People with Down syndrome also have an increased risk for certain medical conditions, such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Levocardia (a heart condition)
  • Thyroid problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Hearing loss

With the proper care and treatment, many of these health problems can be managed effectively.

Are there any treatments or therapies for Down Syndrome that can improve the quality of life?

Yes, there are several treatments and therapies available that can help people with Down Syndrome to improve their quality of life. Early intervention is important for people with Down Syndrome, as it can help to improve cognitive and motor skills.

Various therapies can help with speech and language development, as well as social skills.

Occupational therapy can also be beneficial for people with Down Syndrome, as it can help them to learn new skills and improve their daily living skills.

Different Job Ideas for people with down syndrome

People with Down syndrome can be employed in a variety of different settings. Supported employment is one option that can help people with Down syndrome to find and keep a job in the community. Job coaches can provide support and assistance to help people with Down syndrome be successful at their jobs.

The greeter is a fantastic career for individuals with Down syndrome who have excellent social skills and enjoy creating people happy. Greeters may work in a variety of environments, including restaurants, trains, and events.

People with Down syndrome can also be employed in warehouse or factory settings with the proper support and accommodations. These types of jobs may include tasks such as packing and sorting items.  

Hospitality jobs are another great option for people with Down syndrome. Jobs in this industry may include working as a housekeeper or server in a restaurant.

 Sources:

Down Syndrome Basics / WebMD

Down Syndrome / Medline Plus

Down Syndrome / MayoClinic

Down Syndrome / Wikipedia