Saturday, February 21, 2009

21 Things About Down Syndrome

I love my 21 Things posts so today I am Posting a 21 things about Down Syndrome post for those of you who just aren't sure. Feel free to ask me any questions. I will be happy to answer them.

1) Down Syndrome is referred to
Trisomy 21 because it is a chromosomal disorder or anomaly caused by the presence of a third(tri) chromosome(somy) on the 21st pair of chromosomes. Rather than having 46 Chromosome, or 13 pairs, there is one extra 21st chromosome. 47 Chromosomes!

2) The incidence of Down syndrome is estimated at 1 per 800 to 1,000 births.

3) Down syndrome occurs in all Races, Classes, Sexes, and economic levels. Therefore, down syndrome can occur all over the world.

4) The additional copy of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome can originate from either the father or the mother although, approximately five percent of the cases have been traced to the father.

5) There is absolutely nothing you can do to Cause or Prevent Down Syndrome from occurring.
Down syndrome is not caused by maternal abuse (drugs, alcohol, smoking, etc)

6) Most children with Down syndrome are born to women younger than 35-years-old simply because younger women have more children. However, the incidence of births of children with Down syndrome slightly increases with the age of the mother.

Most people with Down syndrome have IQs that fall in the mild to moderate range of intellectual disability and are NOT usually severely disabled.

8) Babies with Down Syndrome often have Hypotonia or Low Muscle Tone. This means they are often "floppy" so it can take them a little longer to learn to do things like walk, crawl, sit up or other Gross Motor Skills.

At birth, kids with DS are usually of average size, but they tend to grow at a slower rate and remain smaller than their peers. (That's why the Bean is a shorty)

10) Almost half of all children born with DS will have a congenital heart defect that will require surgery.

1) English physician John Langdon Down first characterized Down syndrome as a distinct form of mental disability in 1862, and in a more widely published report in 1866. Due to his perception that children with Down syndrome shared physical facial similarities (epicanthal folds) with those of Blumenbach's Mongolian race, Down used the term mongoloid.

Health concerns for individuals with Down syndrome include a higher risk for congenital heart defects, gastroesophageal reflux disease, recurrent ear infections, obstructive sleep apnea, and thyroid dysfunctions.

13) There are 3 types of Down Syndrome. Trisomy 21, Mosaicism, and Robertson Translocation.

14) Studies have shown that over 90% of pregnancies positively diagnosed with Down Syndrome prenatally will be terminated.

15) Health factors can contribute to a shorter life expectancy for people with Down syndrome. The average life span for someone with Down Syndrome is around 60. This is dramatically improved since 1980 when the average life expectancy of a person with DS was only 25.

16) Fertility amongst both males and females is reduced; males are usually unable to father children, while females demonstrate significantly lower rates of conception relative to unaffected individuals. Approximately half of the offspring of someone with Down syndrome also have the syndrome themselves. There have been only three recorded instances of males with Down syndrome fathering children.

17) Children with Down syndrome always resemble their parents. They are not freaks or misshapen or deformed. My son looks exactly like his Daddy and it's quite striking.

18) Until the middle of the 20th century, the cause of Down syndrome remained unknown. With the discovery of karyotype techniques in the 1950s, it became possible to identify abnormalities of chromosomal number or shape. In 1959, Jérôme Lejeune discovered that Down syndrome resulted from an extra chromosome.

19) Compared to the general population, individuals with Down syndrome have a 12-fold higher mortality rate from infectious diseases, if these infections are left untreated and unmonitored. These infections are due to abnormalities in their immune systems, usually the t-cell and antibody-mediated immunity functions that fight off infections. Children with Down syndrome are also more likely to develop chronic respiratory infections, middle ear infections, and recurrent tonsillitis. In addition, there is a 62-fold higher incidence of pneumonia in children with Down syndrome than in the general population.

20) Children overseas in Hague countries who are orphaned have till the age of 4 to be adopted before they are institutionalized. This is because this children are looked at as unwanted and as a burden. There is a strong push in North America right now to adopt children with DS internationally.

21) I would never change my son for anything. He is absolutely perfect and he has Down Syndrome for a reason. He is here to teach our family and the people around us about life, Down Syndrome, children, love, and compassion.

Here are some links to Great web sites that will give you more information about Down Syndrome and Overseas Adoption.


~ Reece's Rainbow -
International Down Syndrome Orphan Ministry
~ Member's Project - A link to support Reece's Rainbow Member's Project through American Express for financial aid.
The project was #24 in number of votes when the American Express Members Project Top 25 were chosen, out of 2,086.

~ Rainbow Kids - International and Special needs Adoptions, linking families, agencies and children.

~ Adoption Council of Canada -
The Adoption Council of Canada (ACC) is the umbrella organization for adoption in Canada.


Down Syndrome -Wikipedia

Canadian Down Syndrome Society - Some of the folks I know through CDSS

National Down syndrome Society - In the US

Ups and Downs - Fabulous Calgary Organization


Chveya said...

Hi Jess,
I just want to say that I am really enjoying yur blog, and this special little window into your life and Hunter Bean's life. I am sooo happy that you are happy and I think you are an amazing mother, writer and woman. Peace out. S

penny said...

Loved your twenty facts - love Hunter even more!

Penny Green
Down's Heart Group