Monday, April 26, 2010

Down Syndrome

The physical structure of Down syndrome babies
The image of the extra of the 21st chromosomes

Down Syndrome, otherwise known as Down's Syndrome is a chromosomal disorder where there is an extra of the 21st chromosome. This syndrome was named after the physician who described the syndrome in 1866, John Langdon Down. The condition is characterized by a combination of major and minor differences in structure. Down Syndrome foetus can be identified with amniocentesis during pregnancy or in a baby at birth.

Many of the common physical features of Down syndrome may also appear in people with a standard of chromosomes , including, abnormally small chin, unsually round face, protuding tonge, wide forehead and many more. Down syndrome includes a higher risk for compulsive heart defects, recurrent ear infections , thyroid dysfunctions and more. Some physical genetic limitations of Down syndrome cannot be overcome. However, education and proper care will improve the quality of life of a Down syndrome individual.

The medical consenquences of the extra genetic material in Down syndrome are highly variable and may affect the function of any organ system or processes of certain cells. Down syndrome can result from several different genetic mechanisms. This results in a wide variety in individual symptoms due to complex gene and environment interactions. Prior to birth, it is not possible to predict the symptoms that an individual with Down syndrome will develop. Some problems are present at birth such as, heart malformations. Others become obvious over time such as epilepsy. The most common indications of Down syndrome are the facial features, venticular septal defect, hearing deficits , short stature and more.

In education, mainstreaming of children with Down syndrome is becoming less controversial in many countries. Mainstreaming is whereby the process of differing students with different abilities to be placed in classes with their chronological peers. Children with Down syndrome may benefit from mainstreaming provided that some adjusments are made to the curriculum. Some european contries such as Germany and Denmark advise a two-teacher system , whereby the second teacher takes over a group of children with disabilities within the class. A popular alternative is cooperation between special schools and mainstream schools. The core subjects are taught in seperate classes, which neither slows down the typical students nor neglects the students with disabilities.

Treatment of individuals with Down syndrome depends on the particular manifestations of the disorder. For instance, individuals with cognital hear disease may need to undergo major corrective surgery soon after birth. Other individuals may have relatively minor health problems requiring no therapy. Plastic surgery has sometimes been advocated and performed on children with Down syndrome, based on the assumption that surgery can reduce the facial features associated with Down syndrome ,therefore, decreasing social stigma , and leading to a better quality of life.

376 words

Done by ;
-Nurul Aiman
-Aliah Hisham
-Nur Sarah

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