Down syndrome or Down’s syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21. It is typically associated with physical growth delays, characteristic facial features, and mild to moderate intellectual disability. The average IQ of a young adult with Down syndrome is 50, equivalent to the mental age of an 8 or 9 year old child, but this varies widely.
Down syndrome can be identified during pregnancy by prenatal screening followed by diagnostic testing, or after birth by direct observation and genetic testing. Since the introduction of screening, pregnancies with the diagnosis are often terminated. Regular screening for health problems common in Down syndrome is recommended throughout the person’s life.
Most individuals with Down Syndrome have mild (IQ: 50–70) or moderate (IQ: 35–50) intellectual disability with some cases having severe (IQ: 20–35) difficulties. Those with mosaic Down Syndrome typically have IQ scores 10–30 points higher. As they age, people with Down Syndrome typically perform less well compared to their same-age peers. Some after 30 years of age may lose their ability to speak. This syndrome causes about a third of cases of intellectual disability. Many developmental milestones are delayed with the ability to crawl typically occurring around 8 months rather than 5 months and the ability to walk independently typically occurring around 21 months rather than 14 months.
Commonly, individuals with Down Syndrome have better language understanding than ability to speak. Between 10% and 45% have either a stutter or rapid and irregular speech, making it difficult to understand them.
To really understand Down Syndrome – rather watch this video clip. The syndrome is explained and described by the experts!
People with Down Syndrome can live a happy and fulfilling life if they are given the love and care that they deserve. Ask us, we know!