Down Syndrome is a genetic condition that causes delays in physical and intellectual development. Down syndrome is not related to race, nationality, religion, socioeconomic status or anything the mother did during pregnancy.Down syndrome is the most common genetic chromosomal disorder and cause of learning disabilities in children.
Even though people with Down syndrome might act and look similar, each person has different abilities. Raising a baby with Down Syndrome, or any baby with special needs, doesn't have to be the hardship many people expect. Better understanding of Down syndrome and early interventions can greatly increase the quality of life for children and adults with this disorder and help them live fulfilling lives.
Doctors can diagnose Down syndrome during pregnancy or after the baby is born. Some families want to know during pregnancy whether their baby has Down syndrome. Diagnosis of Down syndrome during pregnancy can allow parents and families to prepare for their baby’s special needs.
It is very important that an echo cardiogram be performed on all newborns with Down syndrome in order to identify any serious cardiac problems that might be present. Down syndrome is usually identified at birth or shortly thereafter. Initially the diagnosis is based on physical characteristics that are commonly seen in babies with Down syndrome. These include:
Some people with Down syndrome might have one or more major birth defects or other medical problems. Health care providers routinely monitor children with Down syndrome for these conditions. If they are diagnosed, treatment is offered.
It is important for people with Down syndrome to be involved in their community, take good care of themselves, and see a healthcare provider regularly. Families of people with Down syndrome often can help their loved ones by connecting with other families that have had children with Down syndrome. This may help families gain insight into overcoming potential differences in caring for their child with Down syndrome.