21st of March is observed as ‘World Down Syndrome Day’. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder which occurs when a baby is born with an additional copy of their 21st chromosome. This condition may result in mental as well as physical disabilities in children. Experts reveal that 21st day and third month indicate the trisomy of the 21st chromosome that leads to Down syndrome. Therefore, this event is specifically scheduled on 21st of March. This event mainly aims at providing information regarding Down syndrome treatment and causes to spread awareness about this condition.
What are the Causes of Down Syndrome?
The following list elaborates some of the major Down syndrome causes.
- Genetics – 23 pairs of chromosomes are passed from parents (23 from mother and 23 from father) during development of a baby. Down syndrome develops when one of these chromosomes pairs fail to separate properly and babies get an additional pair of chromosome 21 instead of two.
- Maternal Age – Mother’s age at the time of pregnancy is also linked to the prevalence of Down syndrome. Medical professionals estimate that chances of Down syndrome increase with the increasing age of mother.
- Genetic Translocation – Down syndrome may also develop if any of the parents carries genetic translocation.
Living with Down Syndrome
There is no cure for this condition. However, the following set of things can help the child manage Down syndrome effectively and live a quality life.
- Speech Therapy – Children suffering from Down syndrome may have to face challenges when it comes to communication. They may find it difficult to understand a language or express themselves clearly. Speech therapists can help these children overcome language problems.
- Occupational Therapy – Occupational therapists can help these children improve their motor skills and coordination. They teach children to perform their routine tasks efficiently without depending on others. They encourage children to rise above the developmental barriers and live a productive life.
- Physical Therapy – Children with Down syndrome can largely benefit from exercise sessions. They teach children to develop a good body posture and normal walking pattern. Physical therapists help improve mobility and overall fitness of children.
- Audiologists – Some children may experience hearing loss or ENT problems. Audiologists can help identify such problems in children. Children can be referred to an ear specialist if they require medical treatment.
- Psychologists – It has been observed that children with Down syndrome experience anxiety, behavioral disorders, depression, and sleep-related problems. Psychologists can help children maintain a sound mental health by addressing these concerns.
- Amino Acid Supplements – Some healthcare professionals believe that intake of amino acid supplements can boost the ability of brain to learn new things quickly. However, there is no evidence of this statement and many types of research are still going on this topic.
Apart from all these factors, family support plays a crucial role in managing Down syndrome. Parents should take their children to doctor’s office for regular check-ups. They should try to spend quality time with their children. Their encouragement can significantly impact child’s life in a positive way.
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