An Overview of Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that can be caused by one of three chromosomal abnormalities.

Children with Down syndrome almost always have some degree of developmental delays including: language and memory deficits and other cognitive abnormalities. There is a wide variation in the communicative and cognitive status of older children with Down syndrome. Some speak clearly and understandably, others have significant issues with grammar and articulation, and a small number depend on augmentative communication devices. Many youngsters with Down syndrome attain functional levels for reading, writing, and math; others have been less successful in these areas. While there is usually some degree of impairment in both fine and gross motor skills, many children with Down syndrome are good athletes and enthusiastic participants in community life.

Children with Down syndrome tend to have certain physical characteristics, including:

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Children with Down syndrome often have certain physical characteristics, including low muscle tone and distinct facial characteristics.

For some historical perspective, you can also click here to read Dr. Leshin's article Trisomy 21: The Story of Down Syndrome