October 6, 2013 in The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities by Jess
Down syndrome is the most common and readily identifiable chromosomal condition associated with intellectual disabilities. It is caused by a chromosomal abnormality: for some unknown reason, an accident in cell development results in 47 instead of the usual 46 chromosomes. This extra chromosome changes the orderly development of the body and brain. In most cases, the diagnosis of Down syndrome is made according to results from a chromosome test administered shortly after birth.
Just as in the normal population, there is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior, and developmental progress in individuals with Down syndrome. Their level of intellectual disability may range from mild to severe, with the majority functioning in the mild to moderate range.
Because children with Down syndrome differ in ability, it’s important that families and members of the intervention team place few limitations on potential capabilities and possible achievements. Each child with Down syndrome has his or her own talents and unique capacities, and it’s important to recognize these and reinforce them. As the Family Doctor website states:
In many important ways, children who have Down syndrome are very much the same as other children. They have the same moods and emotions, and they like to learn new things, to play and enjoy life. You can help your child by providing as many chances as possible for him or her to do these things. Read to your child and play with him or her, just as you would any other child. Help your child to have positive experiences with new people and places. Read the rest of this entry →