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Monday, August 20, 2007

10 Facts About Down Syndrome

This post is for the Disability Blog Carnival hosted by Growing Up With A Disability. The theme is "Top 10 Lists" and since it's about Down syndrome it's also for the Down Syndrome Carnival at Cause Of Our Joy.

So here are some facts I wanted to share about Down syndrome; this list is not all inclusive as there are obviously more than 10 facts...but some of these may be facts that aren't well-known.

1. Down syndrome happens before conception; so there is nothing a person did, or didn't do, to cause it. It happens when the egg, or sp*rm, is produced with an extra copy of chromosome 21. Taking prenatal vitamins will not prevent Down syndrome (but you should take your prenatals as Folic acid is important!)

2. Down syndrome is a Trisomy - meaning there are 3 copies, instead of 2, of any given chromosome. Medically Down syndrome is known as Trisomy 21 because it's the 21st chromosome that is affected; it's also the most common type of trisomy. Down syndrome is not a disease.

3. There are 3 types of Down syndrome - the most common (about 95% of cases) is nondisjunction which is a 3rd copy of the chromosome in every cell.

Mosaicism (about 1-2%) happens when only some of the cells have the extra 3rd copy.

Translocation (about 2-3%) happens when the long arm of chromosome 21 is attached to another chromosome.

4. In the US, Canada, and some other countries, it is Down syndrome, not the possessive "Down's syndrome." (The UK is one country still using the possessive form.) In 1975, the United States National Institutes of Health convened a conference to standardize the nomenclature of malformations. They recommended eliminating the possessive form: “The possessive use of an eponym should be discontinued, since the author neither had nor owned the disorder.” John Langdon Down first described it in 1866, but he neither had it, nor "owned" the syndrome so it should not take on the possessive form of Down's syndrome. (An example of possessiveness is ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, because he had the disease.) The 2 other common trisomies are 18 and 13, also known as Edwards syndrome and Patau syndrome - notice no possessive form on those syndromes.

5. While Dr. John Langdon Down first described the common characteristics of people with Down syndrome, it was actually Dr Jerome Lejeune who first identified it as a chromosome 21 trisomy in 1959.

6. While the likelihood of giving birth to a child with Down syndrome increases with maternal age; nevertheless, 80% of babies with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age, as women in that age group give birth to more babies overall.

7. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion or socio-economic status.

8. Down syndrome occurs in about 1 in 800 live births.

9. There is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior and physical development in individuals with Down syndrome. Each individual has his/her own unique personality, capabilities and talents. In other words, people with Down syndrome are not all the same; just like individuals in the typical population are not all the same.

10. Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades - from 25 in 1983 to 56 today.

That is my semi-biology lesson for the day!

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51 comments:

Jodi said...

That is very interesting. I don't know much about Down Syndrome so this post was very enlightening. Thanks for sharing.

Sue said...

Thank you for those facts. That is a huge jump in life expectancy in such a short amount of time. I appreciate the information you give.

I forgot to mention earlier - I love Kayla in her little shirt at the carnival. I had forwarded that to my Mom a while back as her friend's grandson was born about a year ago (?) with Down Syndrome.

Dena said...

Those are great facts and I love learning something new...Have a great day!

Corey~living and loving said...

I learn something new everyday, and today I am really glad it was here that I got my learning on! :)

ChupieandJ'smama said...

Thank you so much for the lesson and the interesting facts. I wondered about "Down vs. Down's". Thank you for educating all of us. My thoughts and prayers are with Gabi and her family. My heart just breaks for all involved. I know she is with her Father, but as a mother, I can not imagine losing a child.

Omaha Mama said...

Good list. Thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is very informative.
Blessings

chelle said...

So enjoyed this. Thanks for sharing it with the blogging world.

The life expectancy increase blows me away. I am not sure if I mentioned before (I am sure I must have), that I used to work with individuals with Down Syndrome and other developmental disabilities. Those adults came from completely different backgrounds though. They had been institutionalized as children then reintroduced into society later on in life. Amazing individuals despite their hardships. I will never forget my time with them.

Sgt and Mrs Hub said...

Wow! I learned a lot reading this. Thanks for taking the time to post the information - I can't get over the life expectancy jump! Amazing! I also like that they are changing the name by taking off the possessive - what a difference it makes!

-Andrea

Killlashandra said...

Fascinating! Thank you for sharing your top ten. I didn't know a lot of that and I've learned several new things today. I agree with Sue that the life expectancy difference is huge and wonderful too.

A Special Family said...

Thank you for the education. I know in Canada it is down syndrome, I got here to the UK and thoght I had it wrong so I changed it. Thanks again!

Kari said...

Wow - thank you! This is very informative and great info to have. I didn't realize that Down syndrome happens BEFORE birth, although I never thought it was a result of someone "doing" something wrong or whatever. I thought it was a result of how the baby developed in the womb. Now I know better. Thanks!

Mike said...

Very informative and well-written.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Lots of good info...going to need your help in part of my class this term..will email you about it later when I learn more.

Thanks for the good info.

Brenda said...

Your daughter is beautiful.I have enjoyed stopping by your page.my son is in AF overseas. Military have to stick together.
Brenda

The Rocking Pony said...

Thank you for sharing. Educating only increases awareness, and that's a good thing!

Tammy and Parker said...

Excellent list!

Overwhelmed! said...

Great information, Michelle!

Thank you for sharing.

There is power in knowledge, right?

Zephyr said...

Ohmigod, your daughter is adorable, and I'm not even a kid-lover! What a radiant smile!

Barb @ A Chelsea Morning said...

This is so great, Michelle. You know, every time I type "Down Syndrome" I figure people think I made (yet another) typo but I've known forever that it's no longer written in the possessive form.

Lots of good information here. And I love that you state it all so simply and clearly.

Me said...

Thanks for that facts. That was so very interesting. I had no idea about point #1!

Trace

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that infomation with me. I have a friend with Down Syndrome and she is one of the kindest people I know.

You have the most beautiful little girl.

Christopher said...

Oh, the irony of life. We just had our second child on March 19 and received the genetic tests back today that we have a Down Syndrome child. Thank you for the facts; I have been avoiding the internet and was just reading my feeds when I stumbled across this one. God works in mysterious ways.

Anonymous said...

Your daughter is precious!!! I love to work with Down syndrome kids at my school thanks for all those interesting facts about DS

Anonymous said...

thanks i am doing a project now i know what DS is

Anonymous said...

thanks so much for the information!
my neice has DS and this really helps (:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful child!

Joe said...

i did my science project off this article. your daughter is very beautiful.

julia. said...

hi, im a 13 year old girl and im doing a research paper on down syndrome. i was looking for interesting facts to put in my paper to "spice it up" a little bit. these facts were really helpful :)
i actually have a friend named anna who goes to my dance studio. i was surprised to see that she works soo well with the music and beats. it really interested me to learn more about down syndrome, thats why i picked this topic to write my paper about :)

thanks for all the help

-julia :)

nikki said...

this helped me with my project...thank youu!

izak said...

thanks alot i'm doing a report in science class ur page helped me alot

Anonymous said...

OMG I'm writing a paper on down syndrome and i have to get 4 pages and I've used up all the other info and then i find this thank you so much for posting this really helped me.

Anonymous said...

thank you sooo much for this information on down syndrome. i had to write a 2 page report and this filled up one of them. thank you sooooooooooooooo much:) i looooved this. down syndrome is soooo intresting.... hahahahahaha i would like oyu to send me more info on my yahoo page. (jesedennis8@yahoo.com and my maid will be glad to read it to me. thanks alot!!!
Jessica Hayes

Vale said...

Your Daughter is Beautiful and you are blessed to have her. I have a little sister who has Down syndrome and I really enjoyed reading some of the facts cause many of them are true and some almost never cross my mind. Ihope you guys have years filled with joy, happines, and memories that last longer than a lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Those are some very interesting facts I'm doing a project on Down syndrome and my sister also has Down syndrome. It was great to learn so much about my sister and why she is the way she is. I saw one of your kids in a Buddy walk shirt and we go every year so maybe we will see you there. Thanks

Jacey said...

Thank You for the facts. All of your children are just beautiful!

Lindseyy. said...

your children are beautiful(: im doing a project.. like most of the people who left comments ang your website is very interesting and helped a lot.. thankyou.

Anonymous said...

My Namme Is shashia. But thank you this really helped me know that people with down syndrome is just like reluglar people.no diffrent at all.the pic of the kids is VERRY bueaitful:). Thaanks

Parag said...

Despite the variability in Down syndrome, individuals with Down syndrome have a widely recognized characteristic appearance. Typical facial features include a flattened nose, small mouth, protruding tongue, small ears, and upward slanting eyes.
Facts about down syndrome

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Anonymous said...

to be honest i knew all this in 9th grade. these are facts, not interesting facts

Anonymous said...

ok so im 15, and i have 2 younger sisters. my middle sister is 13, and she had down syndrome and autism. its hard sometimes but it all works out eventually. i decided 2 write my end of year 10-15 page paper about down syndrome and this helped me out SOOOO much! even though i already knew alot about it, i did learn a lot of new things that i was able 2 use. thank u so much :)

Dr Udeani Evaristus said...

wonderful information for every one to enrich knowledge. That was good.

Gayla Davis said...

I wanted to thank you for putting this info up. I was scared to find out yesterday that i tested positive for DS with this pregnancy. this helped to calm my nerves alot. Thank You.

Gayla Davis said...

Hi I am 5 months pregnant and found out yesterday that i tested positive for DS. I was scared thinking that it was something I did wrong and this information really helped calm my nerves. Thank You.

Darrell Lawhorn said...

Hello all, I have two high spirit children with DS and they're my pride and joy.It can be a rough job sometimes but we have a great support system. When ever I feel that I am failing as a parent I just think that for some reason I was chosen to do this job because I could handle it. My kids are my favorite things in this whole wide world and I wouldn't have it any other way. Great article!

Anonymous said...

this was very interesting, it has enlightened us about down's syndrome. This help with our school project very much;cheers chicken!:*

Anonymous said...

I'm doing a report and this really helped thank you (: your kids are adorable!

Anonymous said...

My brother is 57 years old. He has a job. Helps at church. Is active in Special Olympics. Rides a bike, no training wheels.

DrKader Kochi said...

Now I have a patient with down syndrome.He is my friend.