The mission of Kids with Down syndrome is to benefit the lives of kids with Down syndrome and their families through individual and family support, education, public awareness and advocacy
The mission of Kids with Down syndrome is to benefit the lives of kids with Down syndrome and their families through individual and family support, education, public awareness and advocacy.
The vision of the Kids with Down syndrome is that we all understand the value of those with Down syndrome in our lives. We will continue to strive toward full acceptance, full access, full life and full potential.
Down Syndrome (DS) also called Trisomy 21, is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically. It affects about 1 in every 800 babies born in the United States. The physical features and medical problems associated with DS can vary widely from child to child. While some kids with DS need a lot of medical attention, others lead healthy lives.
Though Down Syndrome can’t be prevented, it can be detected before a child is born. The health problems that may go along with DS can be treated, and many resources are available to help kids and their families who are living with the condition.
What Causes it?
Normally, at the time of conception a baby inherits genetic information from its parents in the form of 46 chromosomes: 23 from the mother and 23 from the father. In most cases of DS, a child gets a extra chromosome for a total of 47 chromosomes instead of 46. It’s this extra genetic material that causes the physical features and developmental delays associated with DS.
How Down Syndrome Affects Kids
Kids with DS tend to share certain physical features such as a flat facial profile, an upward slant to the eyes, small ears, and a protruding tongue. Low muscle tone (called hypotonia) is also characteristic of children with DS, and babies in particular may seem especially “floppy”. Though this can and often does improve over time, most children with DS typically reach developmental milestones- like sitting up, crawling, and walking – later than other kids. At birth, kids with DS are usually of average size, but they tend to grow at a slower rate and remain smaller than their peers. For infants, low muscle tone may contribute to sucking and feeding problems, as well as constipation and other digestive issues. Toddlers and older kids may have delays in speech and self-care skills like feeding, dressing, and toilet teaching. Down syndrome affects kids’ ability to learn in different ways, but most have mild to moderate intellectual impairment. Kids with DS can and do learn, and are capable of developing skills throughout their lives. They simply reach goals at a different pace — which is why it’s important not to compare a child with DS against typically developing siblings or even other children with the condition. Kids with DS have a wide range of abilities, and there’s no way to tell at birth what they will be capable of as they grow up.