For centuries, people with Down syndrome have been alluded to in art, literature and science. It wasn’t until the late nineteenth century, however, that John Langdon Down, an English physician, published an accurate description of a person with Down syndrome. It was this scholarly work, published in 1866, that earned Down the recognition as the “father” of the syndrome.Down syndrome is usually caused by an error in cell division called nondisjunction. However, two other types of chromosomal abnormalities, mosaicism and translocation, are also implicated in Down syndrome although to a much lesser extent. Regardless of the type of Down syndrome a person may have, all people with Down syndrome have an extra, critical portion of chromosome 21 present in all or some of their cells. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with the syndrome. There are more than 50 features of Down syndrome. But not every person with Down syndrome has all the same features or health problems.
Some features and problems are common: Body shape and size include Short stature, Low muscle tone, wide neck, Short, stocky arms and legs Face shape and features, Slanted eyes, A nasal bridge that looks pushed in, Small ears, Irregular teeth
The diagnosis is done in two stages i.e during pregnancy and after birth during pregnancy screening tests and diagnostic tests are done . If Down syndrome was not diagnosed before your baby was born, doctors can often get a clear sense of whether your child has Down syndrome by how your baby looks and by doing a physical exam. Treatment for Down syndrome focuses on making sure that your child has regular medical checkups, helping your child develop, watching for early signs of health problems, and finding support. With treatment and support, you can help your child live a happy, healthy life. All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, however, the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses. Early intervention services, which begin shortly after birth, help children with Down syndrome develop to their full potential. The physical, speech and occupational therapies that early intervention programs provide can enhance a child’s development and provide a way for parents to track their child’s progress.