Down Syndrome: Genetic Disorder of Cognitive Disability and Developmental Delays

Topics: Down syndrome, Chromosome, Fetus Pages: 4 (1116 words) Published: December 2, 2003
Down Syndrome

Have you ever been in a situation where you were confronted by a child who has Down Syndrome and were unsure of how to act around that child? I'm sure many of us have experienced the awkwardness that accompanies such a situation. Many people feel guilt or pity for these children, I believe these reactions result from a lack of knowledge about the condition. Which is why I have chosen this topic.

Down Syndrome is a condition that cannot be physically passed on from one person to the next. It is a genetic disorder that is inherited through our parents when something goes wrong during pregnancy. As a result, they have a combination of features typical of Down Syndrome, including some degree of cognitive disability, as well as other developmental delays. One thing we should always keep in mind is that they are children and having Down Syndrome comes second.

In 1866 British doctor John Langdon Down defined and described the characteristic symptoms of Down Syndrome but was unsure of the cause. It wasn't until 1959 that Dr. Lejeunne and his team in Paris showed that people with Down Syndrome have an additional chromosome. We normally have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each made up of genes. The cells of people with Down Syndrome include three chromosome #21 instead of two. The extra 21st chromosome causes an extra dose of proteins. These

proteins cause the typical features of Down Syndrome. While the fetus with Down Syndrome is developing, its body cells do not reproduce as fast as usual. That is the main reason why these babies are smaller than average after birth and their brain not as big as those of other newborn children.

A child who has Down Syndrome will have exclusive individual characteristics which they have inherited from their parents. The child may resemble their father, mother, grandmother, or aunt. This is true not only for their outward appearance but also for their temperament and physical and intellectual...

Cited: Down Syndrome Awareness Foundation. "Facts About Down Syndrome" 27 July, 2003.
Hudler, Rex & Jennifer. "About Down Syndrome" Team Up For Down Syndrome. 27 July, 2003.
Van Riper, Marcia. "Living with Down Syndrome: The Family Experience." Down Syndrome Quarterly. Volume 4, Number 1 March 1999.
Works, Lee. "Diagnosis Down Syndrome" 1 July, 2002.
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