Down syndrome is a development condition that delays a child’s physical and mental development. The affected individuals are more likely to have disabilities or abnormalities because of the extra chromosome-21 (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). Consequently, it affects their regular physical and intellectual abilities (Pathak, 2020). Hauser (2021) writes that Down syndrome is the most common birth defect, affecting approximately six thousand infants annually in the United States. Having more information on this medical issue will help parents and guardians understand how they should handle children with the disease.
Many people do not have adequate knowledge about this disease. For example, they lack knowledge of the causes, symptoms, and effects. Genetic disorders occur due to abnormal cell division in the fetus’ body (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). The additional chromosomes affect the developmental and physical abnormalities of the child after birth (Powell-Hamilton, 2020). The illness can also be passed through generations and is almost impossible to prevent. The resulting disabilities exist throughout the patient’s life and can reduce their life expectancy, especially if they lack medical assistance and support from friends and families.
This paper aims to discuss multiple themes and issues related to Down syndrome. Firstly, it discusses the physical, developmental, and intellectual difficulties patients with this illness experience in their lifetime. Parents raising children with this condition might experience challenges if they do not understand their children, bodies, and health status (Hauser, 2021). Communities should understand the irregularities that these individuals might exhibit and the best way to deal with them.
Secondly, the paper narrates the features that healthcare practitioners look out for when diagnosing children during and after birth to determine if they have Down syndrome. The primary signs and symptoms include flat facial features, bulging tongue, low muscle tone, and smaller features (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). However, having these traits does not mean that the child has the illness, and doctors have to conduct the proper diagnosis to define its existence.
The symptoms of Down syndrome might be mild, temperate, or severe, depending on the individual. It means that some children remain healthy despite having the condition, while others develop multiple health complications like heart disease. Pathak (2020) writes that the most common physical signs include a short neck, small head, poor muscle tone, excessive flexibility, unusually shaped ears, short height, and flattened face. Intellectual impairments affect the child’s memory and delay their language development. Moreover, their hearts and gastrointestinal systems are weak and fail to perform their regular functions. Children with Down syndrome might have leukaemia, dementia, and spinal problems (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2018). Parents should seek professional advice from a doctor if they identify any of these elements in their infants.
The symptoms of Down syndrome sometimes depend on the child’s age. In most cases, the healthcare providers can identify the signs after birth. However, sometimes they diagnose the condition during pregnancy through screening (Pathak, 2020). A pregnant woman cannot know if they are carrying an infected child because they do not experience the signs and symptoms. In the United States, screening for this developmental condition is a primary component of prenatal care during the first and second trimesters. The individual can undergo blood tests if the fetus is too tiny or ultrasound evaluation during the later pregnancy stages. Doctors conduct follow-ups in case they receive abnormal results to protect the unborn child from potential congenital disabilities.
Down syndrome does not have a specific cure or vaccine. Supporting the patients and offering educational programs are some of the most appropriate strategies for treating this condition. Those living in the United States have an added advantage because federal law outlines requirements for each state demanding them to offer therapy programs for Down syndrome cases. For instance, the local governments should hire psychologists and special education teachers who help the children improve their sensory, social, motor, and communication skills (Powell-Hamilton, 2020). Parents should be patient with their children because their learning speed might be slower than expected.
Medical researchers have not discovered preventive strategies for Down syndrome. Parents raising children with the condition should schedule regular consultations with medical practitioners. It will help them understand the challenges they should expect when assisting their children to live with the disease and the best solutions. According to Hauser (2021), individuals and communities should also be aware of the risk factors to protect themselves and prepare for any incident. Powell-Hamilton (2020) suggests that mothers who have given birth to a child with this genetic condition are more likely to have another child with the same illness. Access to more information has enabled people with Down syndrome to lead better and longer lives than before.
Down syndrome is a common condition caused by genetic division in the chromosomes. It triggers physical, developmental, and intellectual disabilities among infants and adults. The signs and symptoms are also physical, including small ears and hands. Parents should seek medical attention during pregnancy to allow the doctors to diagnose the potential for birth defects. Special education tutors help the children deal with the impairments and boost their skills. Understanding this illness and learning how to live with it is necessary because it is neither preventable nor curable.
Areas of Diversity
Down syndrome varies in terms of severity among affected individuals. One of the most crucial aspects is that Down syndrome facilitates learning disabilities in different ways (Hauser, 2021). The syndrome provokes mild to moderate intellectual impairment, which affects speech and motor skills development. Another factor implies maternal age. It is a risk factor for Down syndrome because 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to females under 35 years old (Pathak, 2020). The third area encompasses the risk by ethnicity: the highest risk of Down syndrome is for Mexican American mothers, intermediate for African Americans, and lowest for non-Hispanic Whites (Kruszka et al., 2016). All these factors promote diversity that impacts disease development and its further impact on life.
Dealing with Down syndrome involves multiple challenges that parents and guardians should learn to handle. This illness has affected me majorly because I am a parent of a nineteen-year-old child with Down syndrome. The examined areas of disease diversity have affected my child’s physical and intellectual development. Teachers have significantly helped our children by delivering a strong emphasis on visual learning.
The most challenging effects of raising a child with Down syndrome entail continuous doctor appointments and dealing with behavioral and health issues regularly. It has interfered with my daily schedule because I have to spend a lot of time taking care of her and attending doctor frequently. I have come to accept the fact that my child cannot be independent like other children of her age. I have to help her maneuver through life and overcome the challenges associated with physical and motor impairments.
This topic relates to the information presented in this course because it illustrates the impact of genetic infections on psychological well-being. It also narrates the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of this developmental disorder. Information in the second chapter of the book described the significance of the research, which is evident in this topic. The study offers relevant information to families that are vulnerable to the condition and helps them understand the signs to consider and how to handle the challenges of living with Down syndrome. Reading the course and studying this topic helps me to relate more to this genetic and incurable disease.
Hauser, M. (2021). Help with intellectual disability. Web.
Kruszka, P., Porras, A. R., Sobering, A. K., Ikolo, F. A., La Qua, S., Shotelersuk, V., & Muenke, M. (2016). Down syndrome in diverse populations. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A, 173(1), 42–53. Web.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Down syndrome. Web.
Pathak, N. (2020). Down syndrome. Web.
Powell-Hamilton, N. (2020). Gene disorders. Web.