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Down Syndrome Essay

970 words - 4 pages

In 1866, an Englishman, named John Langdon Down, published the first clinical description of the condition that is now called Down syndrome (Capone 2004). According to Turner & Alborz (2003), Down's syndrome occurs in approximately one in six hundred live births per year. Also known as Trisomy 21, Down syndrome is a common birth defect caused by an error in cell division. This error in cell division causes the person to have an extra portion on the number 21 chromosome present in all, or some, of their cells. According to Berk (2003), this additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the many characteristics associated with the syndrome. This one extra copy of ...view middle of the document...

A reduced resting metabolic rate in individuals with Down syndrome leads to a higher frequency of obesity than in other individuals (Roizen & Patterson 2003). Gum disease is also a common problem associated with Down syndrome . Individuals must be very adamant about brushing their teeth and routine dental visits every six months. Adults with Down syndrome also have lower bone densities (Roizen & Patterson 2003); therefore these individuals should pay special attention to the amount of calcium and vitamin D that they intake. Down syndrome can be diagnosed by chromosome analysis after birth, due to characteristic appearance of the infant, or prenatally, due to identified risk factors (Roizen & Patterson 2003).Unlike most birth defects, not all people with Down syndrome are affected in the same ways. For instance, women are able to have children, but men are not as likely to have children (Roizen & Patterson 2003). This diminished capacity to have children is caused by medical differences between men with Down syndrome and other males. Other differences that are not influenced by gender include intellectual differences. IQ's in individuals with Down syndrome can vary up to fifty to sixty points (Turner & Alborz 2003). Also, only about 87% of children with Down syndrome develop a skin disorder (Roizen & Patterson 2003). Roizen and Patterson (2003) state that about half of the children with Down syndrome have a congenital heart defect. Some of the differences between individuals with Down syndrome are not only genetic but also environmental. Parental support, an environmental effect, is the most progressive method of intervention that children with Down syndrome have (Roizen & Patterson 2003). Federal and state law requires that all children with significant developmental delays be provided with early intervention. However, children with Down syndrome do not benefit from intervention like other...

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