Down’s Syndrome is a genetic ‘disorder‘. Mind you, it’s not a disease. people who have this disorder have difficulties in learning which does not mean that they can’t learn at all. This disorder is caused by an abnormal division of cells in babies. this abnormal division leads to some additional genetic material in chromosome 21. Just to make you understand a bit more clearly, a cell contains 46 chromosomes or 23 pairs of chromosomes, and every chromosome contains thousands of genes.
In this disorder, some additional genetic substance is present in the 21st chromosome. Common consequences of this disorder include permanent cerebral disability, delay in growth and physical illness. It is one of the most common genetic disorders among children, but with an early diagnosis and proper care, the quality of life of such kids and even adults can be improved to a great extent.
Symptoms of Down’s Syndrome
The symptoms of down’s syndrome vary form person to person and depend upon the extent of development issues which might range from mild to severe illnesses. Some common symptoms of Down’s Syndrome are:
- Compressed facial appearance
- Undersized head
- Small or non-existent neck
- Obtruding tongue
- Unusually formed ears
- Low muscle tone
- Stunted growth
- Increased flexibility
- White spots on the iris of the eye
Diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome
Screening tests: these tests are done during pregnancy.
Diagnostic tests: these tests are a personal choice which are conducted keeping in mind the family history, mother’s age and other risk factors.
Treatment and Initiatives regarding Down’s Syndrome
Early Intervention Programs: although, there is no absolute cure for this disorder, but programs like early intervention program helps the affected children to lead as normal a life as is possible given the extent to which they are affected. These programs are tailor made for each individual. As the name suggests, these programs provide healthy stimulus from an early age to improve sensory,motor and cognitive functions. A team of specialists constantly and regularly monitors any health concerns which might arise and combined with parental support, such programs have proved to be really effective.
Down Syndrome Awareness Week: This event is held from 20th to 26th march to spread awareness among the population about this condition. Due to certain cases in which the physical appearance of the people who have this disorder, a certain mentality has formed among the people. To tackle this problem and spread as much awareness as possible about this disorder, the Down’s Syndrome week is celebrated.
Some key points upon which Down syndrome awareness week focuses upon are:
- This is not a disease or a condition, it is simply a learning disorder.
- People with down syndrome can still make connections and relations with other people. They are as much likely to like, dislike or form opinions about other people as any other people.
- People with down syndrome don’t look all alike. They are all unique and look more like their family members than each other. However, some physical characteristics may occur.
- People with down syndrome have the same feeling about things or other people like the rest of us.
- Not all older women give birth to children with this disorder. About eighty percent of the children born with it are born to women below the age of thirty five years.
- With the right support, people with down’s syndrome can work. in 2012, the DSA launched Workfit progam which was specifically designed to find the right employment opportunities for such people. Currently, 226 employers are engaged with this program.