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Understanding Down Syndrome - God's Special Children

Sep 8, 2008
Down syndrome or DS affects approximately one out of every eight hundred babies that are born. It is a condition that is caused by a genetic abnormality inside the child's body and can lead to a number of complications. To fully understand exactly what DS is, you need to first understand this abnormality.

In a normal baby, genetic information is transmitted in the form of chromosomes. There are forty six total sets, with twenty three coming from the mother and twenty three coming from the father. In babies that have Down syndrome, there is an extra set of these chromosomes, boosting the total to forty seven. While the cause for this addition is unknown, a woman's age can increase the chances of her giving birth to a baby with DS. Women over thirty five are especially at high risk and should be tested during pregnancy to detect any fetal abnormalities.

Once a child is born, the doctor can usually diagnose Down syndrome immediately by looking at the child's appearance. DS children tend to have slanted eyes, small ears, a flat face, a large tongue, and a single crease that runs along the center of their palms. Their muscles and joints also appear to be less developed and they seem to be less rigid than a normal child.

As well as appearance, there are some medical conditions that are also common in children suffering from Down syndrome. Many of these infants have difficulty eating normally and have heart murmurs and other cardiovascular problems. Most of these youngsters also suffer from mild to severe retardation, although many are capable of learning skills throughout their lives. Many are also born with vision and hearing problems as well.

If you have a child who suffers from Down syndrome, you should enroll him in intervention programs as soon as possible. There are a number of therapists and specialists that can help him learn to crawl, walk, and speak. When he reaches school age, they can also help you to decide the best educational program for him. Some DS children need to attend special classes or schools while others are capable of attending classes with children who do not have DS. As these youngsters grow up, many can live semi-independently and often have jobs while others have even finished college.

In the past, many children who had DS never reached adulthood. Today, depending on the seriousness of their various medical conditions, many Down syndrome sufferers are now living well into their fifties. As medical science keeps making advances, this age continues to rise as well.

If you have a child who suffers from Down syndrome, there is plenty of support and help to be found in coping with the situation. Again, many of these children live full and happy lives. When spending time with these children, you may also come to realize that they are some of the most loving and caring youngsters that you could ever meet that bring joy and laughter to anyone that they encounter. They really are "God's special children."
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Find helpful and creative ideas for parents and grandparents while you shop our affordable kids furniture. For more information, visit this article on wooden toy boxes .
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