Down syndrome is a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. Chromosomes are small “packages” of genes in the body. They determine how a baby’s body forms during pregnancy and how the baby’s body functions as it grows in the womb and after birth. Typically, a baby is born with 46 chromosomes.
Babies with Down syndrome have an extra copy of one of these chromosomes, chromosome 21. This extra copy changes how the baby’s body and brain develop, which can cause both mental and physical challenges for the baby.
Even though people with this syndrome might act and look similar, each person has different abilities. These people usually have an IQ (a measure of intelligence) in the mildly-to-moderately low range and are slower to speak than other children.
Some common physical features of Down syndrome include:
A flattened face, especially the bridge of the nose; Almond-shaped eyes that slant up; A short neck; Small ears; A tongue that tends to stick out of the mouth; Small hands and feet; Poor muscle tone or loose joints; Shorter in height as children and adults
Down syndrome is a lifelong condition. Services early in life will often help babies and children to improve their physical and intellectual abilities. Most of these services focus on helping children with Down syndrome develop to their full potential. These services include speech, occupational, and physical therapy, and they are typically offered through early intervention programs in each state. Children with Down syndrome may also need extra help or attention in school, although many children are included in regular classes.
Source: KK Publishers
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