The 21st of March marks the international day of Down Syndrome (DS). Down Syndrome is a genetic condition in which people have 47 chromosomes, instead of 46. Trisomy 21, the common case of Down syndrome, occurs when there is an extra copy of chromosome 21. It causes a delay in cognitive ability and physical growth with some facial characteristics.
There are a lot of physical signs that can be found in people with DS. Small ears and mouth, short hands and fingers, flattened nose and upward slanting eyes. They also have some common mental delay and social behaviors like slow learning, impulsive behavior, anger, frustration, short attention span and poor judgment.
A lot of people with DS have different medical condition associated with their case, such as eye and hearing problems, birth defects, dementia, hip problems, long term constipation problems, sleep apnea and under-active thyroid.
There is no particular treatment for DS, but people with this condition should be handled carefully. Special education and training is offered in most communities. Speech and physical therapy can help for a child’s daily life. Awareness is very important.
This year marks the 8th anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day. In this event people with DS will choose activities and events to raise awareness about DS and what is it like to live as a society member. I myself did not know much about it until I did some research for this blog post. People with DS are human beings who try their best to fit in. They might be slow, but they do reach their destinations eventually. What I have learned from them is to always have faith and keep on going with your life.