Today is the last day to recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month.
You can download a free printed copy of the Down syndrome fact sheet, providing information on the types, prevalence, definition, signs and symptoms, and teaching strategies. Further information includes a list of Down syndrome organizations and foundations.
Down Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder caused by an extra cell division that results in an extra 21st chromosome. This causes developmental delays both intellectually and physically. The disorder is named after John Langdon Down, a British physician who was the first to describe the syndrome in 1866. The disorder was later identified by Jerome LeJeune in 1959 as a condition associated by the chromosome structure. Down syndrome is the most common chromosome disorder. Each year, about 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome.
An estimate of 1 in 700 babies born. The life expectancy of people with Down syndrome increased between 1960 and 2007. In 1960, an average person with Down syndrome lived to be 10 years old compared to 2007 with people with Down syndrome living to 47 years of age. Often, people born with Down syndrome may develop health issues and a cognitive development ranging from mild to severe. There is often a speech delay and children may lag behind with fine and gross motor skills. Physical characteristics may include a flat nasal bridge, single, deep creases across the center of the palm, protruding tongue, large space between the large and second toe, low muscle tone, almond shape to the eyes.
The causes of Down syndrome is due to an extra copy of chromosome 21 in every cell. This is the most common form of Down syndrome. It represents 94% of all cases of Down syndrome. Congenital heart failure affects 300,000 or 40% of individuals with Down syndrome. There are 3 types:
atrioventricular septal defect (AV Canal)- a condition caused by the Septum failure to close properly. This occurs during the embryonic stage and results in a large opening at the center of the heart.
Persistent Ductus Arteriosus- when a tube that continues to exists after a baby is born. It is a persistent opening between the two major blood vessels leading from the heart.
Tetralogy of Fallot- a heart condition composed of four abnormalities: 1) Ventricular Septal Defect 2) a narrowing of the passage from the right ventricular to the lungs 3) an over enlarged right ventricle due to blood back up 4) an over enlarged aorta, which carries blood from the left ventricle to the body.
Congenital Heart Disease can range from severe to mild. Typically, students do not require special care. For those with more severe heart issues, be aware of the signs and symptoms of a student heart disease is getting worse. This include:
Arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm that can cause the heart to beat fast or too slow
Congenital heart failure- when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to meet the needs of the body.
Pulmonary hypertension- a type of high blood pressure that affects the arteries in the lungs and the right side of the heart.
Signs and symptoms include:
shortness of breath
fatigue and weakness
rapid or irregular heartbeat
Things to be aware of in students with Heart Issues:
Tires easily or becomes short of breath after exercise
Obesity is a major health concern and is more common in individuals with Down syndrome than the general population. Obesity is defined as excessive fact accumulation that increases health risk. It is an abnormal accumulation of body fact usually 20% of a person’s ideal body weight.
Medical complications of obesity includes sleep apnea, lung disease, pancreatitis, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, inflamed veins and gout. When the body mass increases, so does the risk of having a heart attack or heart failure.
In a study published by the American Association Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities found a difference between studies on children versus adults with Down syndrome. Children with Down syndrome have consistently been found to exhibit a reduced resting metabolic rate meaning children with Down syndrome are at a great risk for weight gain since they will burn fewer calories. at rest during activities.
Children with Down syndrome also tend to have a condition known as hypothyroidism. Approximately 10 percent of children with Down syndrome have hypothyroidism. As children with Down syndrome get older, eating behaviors change leading to obesity (Approximately 30%). These changes may be due to low muscle tone or inactivity due to thyroid problems or heart conditions.
Exercise and recreation are crucial to the well-being of individuals with Down syndrome. The following are strategies for helping to maintain weight control and to live longer and healthier lives:
Develop a regular exercise program. According to Drs. Chicoine and McGuire, authors of The Guide to Good Health for Teens and Adults with Down syndrome, Exercise should be free of risk. Push ups and weightlifting are not appropriate due to many people with Down syndrome who have issues with the upper 2 vertebrates.
Swimming is an effective exercise. Many pool have walking exercises in the pool as well.
Exercise should be fun, socially and realistic.
For older adults with Down syndrome, look for teachable moments to teach portion control, drinking enough fluids, and eating a well-balanced meal.
Chicoine, B. and McGuire, B. (2010). The Guide to Good Health for Teen and Adults with Down Syndrome. Bethesda, MD
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (Edefines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
Annual awareness observances are sponsored by federal, health and non-profit organizations. Awareness campaigns serve the purpose of informing and educating people on a certain causes. Each year, the number of special needs organizations bringing awareness to specific disabilities and disorders seem to grow. Awareness activities range from one day to a month. Here is a calendar of major special needs awareness months, weeks, and days. Most websites include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets. Since it is still early in the year, some of the campaigns still have 2018 campaigns on their websites. I will add new information once the changes are up on the websites.
Sequence is defined as a set of related events, movements, or things that follow each other in a particular order. For many children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities, the ability to arrange thoughts, information and language may be a challenge due to issues with their executive function capabilities. The following resources, tips and strategies will help you teach sequencing skills.
Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) is a chromosomal disorder due to 3 copies of chromosome 21, causing a number of developmental delays, medical and physical disabilities. Learning is one of the areas that is affected by the disorder. Children born with Down syndrome typically have delays in the area of gross and fine motor skills, thinking, short attention span, speech and language difficulties and sequencing. The following links and resources include information on tips and strategies for teaching children with Down syndrome for both parents and teachers.
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Down syndrome is defined as a genetic disorder caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21. I have included articles that I have posted over the years to help educate others. Please feel free to share on other social media sites.
Down syndrome is a genetic disorder that develops when there is an abnormal cell division resulting in an extra copy of chromosome 21.
There are three types of Down syndrome: trisomy 21 (nondisjunction) accounts for 95% of cases, translocation accounts for about 4%, and mosaicism accounts for about 1%
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Approximately one in every 700 babies in the United States is born with Down syndrome – about 6,000 each year
Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels
The incidence of births of children with Down syndrome increases with the age of the mother. But due to higher fertility rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age
People with Down syndrome have an increased risk for certain medical conditions such as congenital heart defects, respiratory and hearing problems, Alzheimer’s disease, childhood leukemia and thyroid conditions. Many of these conditions are now treatable, so most people with Down syndrome lead healthy lives
A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are: low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm. Every person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all
Life expectancy for people with Down syndrome has increased dramatically in recent decades – from 25 in 1983 to 60 today
People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, have meaningful relationships, vote and contribute to society in many wonderful ways
All people with Down syndrome experience cognitive delays, but the effect is usually mild to moderate and is not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses
The incidence of Down syndrome is between I in 1000 to 1 in 1,100 live birth worldwide.
Each year, approximately 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down syndrome.
60-80% of children with Down syndrome having hearing issues
40-45% of children with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease
The life expectancy increased slowly from 1900 to 1960 (by 89%) but rapidly grew from 1960 to 2007 (456%)
Life Expectancy by Race
Whites with Down syndrome in the United States had a median death at the age of 50 in 1997 compared to 25 years for African Americans and 11 for people of other races