Understanding Down syndrome
Down syndrome is the world's most common chromosomal condition and genetic cause of intellectual disability.
Down syndrome is due to the presence of an extra or part of an extra chromosome, chromosome 21. For that reason, the most common form of Down syndrome is also known as trisomy 21. People with Down syndrome commonly have 47 chromosomes in their cells instead of 46.
Facts about Down syndrome
- Down syndrome is usually recognisable either before or shortly after birth and is confirmed by a blood test. However, what happens after birth is much more important than the extra chromosome in determining the outlook for a baby with Down syndrome
- A new baby with Down syndrome is first and foremost, a baby – and needs the same love and care that all babies need. He or she will grow and develop but is likely to reach developmental milestones at a slower rate.
- Like all children, children with Down syndrome are individuals with their own strengths, challenges, likes, dislikes and personalities.
What impacts can Down syndrome have?
Down syndrome can lead to developmental delays and other problems, but can range in severity. These can include;
- Behaviour – poor judgement, impulsiveness
- Learning - short attention span, delayed speech and language development
- Cognitive function – developmental delays, cognitive impairment
This information has been provided to us by the Down Syndrome Association of Queensland.
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