Down Syndrome is a genetic chromosomal syndrome affecting physical features and causing mental retardation. Down Syndrome is caused by having an extra third copy of chromosome 21. Down Syndrome can be diagnosed prenatally in the womb during pregnancy using several different tests including ultrasound, amniocentesis and CVS.
Diagnosis after birth can usually be done from examining the baby’s physical and facial features such as:
> Flattened face
> Snub nose
> Flattened nasal bridge
> Upward slanting eyes
> Short neck
> Enlarged and protruding tongue
> Abnormally shaped ears
> Short stubby hands
> Short stubby feet
> Infant not crying much
Below are some of the major myths about Down Syndrome. Each myth is debunked with the truth concerning one specific aspect of Down Syndrome.
Myth: Down Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder.
Truth: One in every 800 to 1,000 birth is a child with Down Syndrome condition. This figures represents approximately 5,000 births per year.
Myth: Most children with Down Syndrome are born to older parents.
Truth: 80% of children with Down Syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age. However, as the age of the parents increases, so does the incidence of births of children with Down Syndrome condition.
Myth: Children with Down Syndrome are severely retarded.
Truth: Children with Down Syndrome have an I.Q that falls between the mild to moderately retarded range. Children with Down Syndrome can be educated. However, educators and researchers have not been able to verify and document the full educational potential of Down Syndrome children.
Myth: Most people with Down Syndrome are institutionalized.
Truth: In recent years, Down Syndrome children are seen in the public together with the families, going about their educational, social and recreational activities. Some adults with Down Syndrome have also seen to work in café and fast food chains.
Myth: Adult with Syndrome are unemployable.
Truth: As society’s acceptance and understanding towards adults with Down Syndrome children increases, businesses around the world are employing young adults with Down Syndrome for a variety of positions.
Myth: Adults with Down Syndrome are unable to form close interpersonal relationship leading to marriage.
Truth: Many adults with Down Syndrome are able to socialize and form ongoing relationship such as courtship and marriage. Althought women with Down Syndrome can have children, but the chances of getting a Down Syndrome child is 50%.
Myth: People with Down Syndrome condition can never be cured.
Truth: As the medical research advances, it was identified that the gene on chromosome 21 is responsible for Down Syndrome. Scientists believe that there is a possibility in the future to improve, correct and prevent the varies problems related to Down Syndrome.