blog 2 march 2016

Know The facts about Down Syndrome

Know the Fact About Down Syndrome

Since we have nannies who work with children that have disorders of development, I believe it’s important to introduce the disorders that cause brain development so that nannies can better understand them through greater scientific lenses. After having conversation with an individual who insisted that down Syndrome is as a result of the father’s age (Not Correct) – I knew that I needed to put together this post.

Down syndrome is a disease that results in the abnormal development of the brain causing intellectual and developmental disabilities. (In the past people used the term mental retardation which is no longer acceptable because of the negative connation attached to the phrase). Down syndrome is not caused by the inheritance of a defective gene (Very Important) but instead by the possession of an extra twenty-first chromosome. The syndrome is strongly linked with the mother’s age (NOT that of the father), and in most cases something goes wrong with some of her ova (eggs), resulting in the presence of two (twenty-first) chromosomes. Note that we should have one 21 chromosome on the mother’s side. Once fertilization takes place the addition of the father’s twenty-first chromosome, makes (three), rather than (two) 21 chromosomes (not very confusing when you really think of it!). It’s this extra chromosome which causes biochemical changes that impair normal brain development. This is a simple explanation for Down Syndrome.

How can Down Syndrome be Detected Prenatally?

Luckily because of amniocentesis, which is a procedure where fluid is drawn from the pregnant woman’s uterus through a hypodermic syringe, this has allows doctors to be able to detect fetal cells with abnormalities and ultimately to see whether the fetus carries Down Syndrome.
People who have Down syndrome have learning difficulties, mental retardation, “a characteristic facial appearance”, and poor muscle tone in infancy. They also have a higher risk for having heart defects, digestive problems and hearing loss.

The Takeaway
We do not refer to kids (or adults) with Down syndrome as mentally retarded or “retarded”. We refer to them as having intellectual and developmental disabilities. They deserve to be cared for and loved like you would love any other child or(adult).

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One thought on “Know The facts about Down Syndrome

  1. Alene, I want to thank you for your contribution to nannies. I’m blown away by how much effort you put into educating nannies on all levels.

    Olivia Frederick

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