Down Syndrome is a condition in which a baby is born with 47 chromosomes, versus the customary 46. Developmentally, people with Down Syndrome usually exhibit delayed mental and physical growth and maturity, which can include the presence of impulsive behavior and a short attention span. Generally speaking, it is fairly easy to identify a person with Down’s. Many physical characteristics include: An abnormally small hear, slanted eyes, a flattened nose, decreased muscle tone, small ears, small hands with short fingers.
Due to the abnormalities in their bodies and their often stunted growth, those with Down Syndrome often have medical issues including eye and ear problems, hip problems, and as well an under active thyroid. People with this condition also appear to age more rapidly than those without Down’s, which can take a toll on their physical and mental wellbeing. Odd though it may seem, given this information, those with Down Syndrome are reportedly very content, and if and until the onset of the known medical issues present, live very happy and fulfilled lives. Capable of a complex range of emotions, don’t discount your sibling or child with Down’s to hold back on expressing his or her mind or feelings. Incapable of couching his or her thoughts in tact, expect him or her to tell you precisely how he or she feels!
Another interesting piece of useful information is that those with Down’s tend toward order; chaos and disruption in routine are apt to make someone with Down Syndrome unhappy. Indeed they are known to collect things they find fascinating. It is not unheard of to see that your sibling or child has collected over 3000 pencils, of differing colors and designs, separated by some designation only known to him or her. One thing you can trust in is that they will be kept neatly, organized and ready to be used on a moment’s notice. Not a one will be missing a point of its graphite or in need of a new eraser. If only most people were this in tune with his or her surroundings and possessions.
There are myriad online resources available that offer information, support and even a community that your loved one and/or you can involve yourself in regarding Down Syndrome. From medical websites to personal blogs and forums, the options are truly impressive. Some of the most popular include:
Depending on where you live, you may have access to a local support group or even an organization or association that specializes in Down Syndrome. The benefit of getting hooked up with a group in your area is that you can find local support and create nurturing relationships with other locals who have Down Syndrome. Whether you are reaching out for a loved one who has it so he or she can meet others just like themselves or to meet other family members whose sibling or child has it, connections can be made.
The most important thing to understand about Down Syndrome is that in spite of the known medical issues associated with the condition, your child or sibling can live a happy life. Indeed he or she is unlikely to be able to fully function on his or her own without assistance. Apart from that, treat him or her like a functioning member of your family. From taking out the garbage to doing other household chores, don’t assume he or she is incapable of performing most every day tasks. And when he or she lets you know what’s on their mind, just go with the flow!