Sunday, October 2, 2011

What Down syndrome IS

What Down syndrome is:

  • occurs when, during cell division at conception, an error creates three copies of the 21st chromosome instead of the normal two.  Because of the triplication, it’s also known as Trisomy 21, or T21 for short.  Any chromosome, or part of a chromosome, can be triplicated.  Most of these, however, do not allow a baby to make it to birth.  T21, then, is the most common genetic abnormality in live births.
  • an alteration that can make it harder for individuals to learn.  However, it does NOT make them incapable of learning.  New theories are unfolding that are teaching US how better to teach these kiddos.  While it’s true that it generally comes with some degree of cognitive disability, that degree is widely variable.  In fact, new research is showing that there’s a tighter correspondence between the IQ of a child and their parents than the child and their peers with Ds. 
  • a list of common physical features.  Kids with Down syndrome look similar.  However, they first and foremost look like their families!
  • a syndrome that raises the cute quotient by approximately 10 fold.  Don’t believe me?  Take a gander at the munchkins on the list to the left.  Just be prepared for your teeth to ache from the sweetness.

Down syndrome is NOT:

  • a death sentence for the child or a burden on their family (OR SOCIETY!)
  • a guaranteed “limiter” of success- there are plenty of adults who function independently, happily, and contribute to their community!  As we learn more about the disorder and how to better cater toward their learning needs, the educational potential keeps expanding.  It appears as though there’s no ceiling to their talents!
  • a dark, dreary place.  Just spend five minutes with one of our kids, and you’ll quickly see otherwise!  Of course, Down syndrome is not happiness bottled up, either; spend five minutes with one of our kids on a BAD day, and you’ll quickly see that, too. 
  • WHO a person is- it’s part of what makes them who they are. They are loved, valued, and doted on. They are blessings just like their typical peers. They are not more or less special, more or less deserving, or more or less loved. 
  • Piper is Piper, and we couldn’t possibly be more in love.  We love her for all of her- 47 chromosomes and all!


    1 comment:

    1. Beautiful post for the 31 for 21 Challenge!! Piper is simply...adorable. As a mother to two "typical" girls (my 3 year old's new temper tantrums are also typical:) I love October and reading all of my favorite blogs everyday. I have learned and continue to learn a lot about the cutie patooties on these blogs. Thanks for the information:)