What is Down syndrome?
Down syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21) is a genetic disorder caused from an extra copy of chromosome 21. This extra chromosome results in various physical and intellectual characteristics. Down syndrome is usually diagnosed before birth, during the mother’s genetic testing during pregnancy or can be discovered via ultrasound.
Physical characteristics of Down syndrome can include:
- Almond shaped eyes that slant upward
- Flat facial profile
- Small nose and mouth
- Single crease across the palm of the hand
- Slower growth patterns and reduced muscle tone
Intellectual characteristics of Down syndrome can include:
- Intellectual disabilities
- Delayed development
- Learning and memory challenges
- Language and communication challenges
- Attention and concentration issues