What Is Down Syndrome
In every cell in the human body there is a nucleus, where genetic material is stored in genes. Genes carry the codes responsible for all of our inherited traits and are grouped along rod-like structures called chromosomes. Typically, the nucleus of each cell contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, half of which are inherited from each parent. Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21.
This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome. A few of the common physical traits include low muscle tone, small stature, an upward slant to the eyes, and a single deep crease across the center of the palm – although each person is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all
Down Syndrome Resources
Below you will find a list of resources that have been invaluable to us in learning about Down Syndrome. Please let us know if there are resources you think belong on the list.
Blogs & Websites
Down Syndrome Education Online this is an overview of speech, language, and communication for individuals with Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa a non-profit organization that exists to enhance the lives of individuals with Down syndrome.
There is nothing you did to "cause" your child to be born with Down Syndrome
First let me reassure you, there is nothing you could have done to cause your child to be born with Down Syndrome. Nothing you ate, didn’t eat, got exposed to, vitamin you forget to take or activity you did that caused this. If that thought has ever crossed your mind you can take a deep breath, and let go of any guilt or anger you may be feeling, because Down syndrome isn’t your fault.
It is very likely that you were as surprised by this diagnosis as many parents are. You likely had no idea that your child was carrying that extra chromosome throughout your pregnancy. You are not alone, 85% of children born with Down Syndrome are diagnosed after delivery.
We want to encourage you, before you even knew you were pregnant their genes were set in place and there was nothing you, or your doctor, could have done to prevent that extra chromosome. God knitted your little one together just as He intended.
New Parent's Guide
Congratulations! The birth of your new baby is a time for celebration and the feeling of joy! Your baby may not be as you have imagined, but rest assured that your baby is more like other babies than different. You may be feeling afraid and uncertain, which is perfectly normal. Most parents experience this when they hear their child has Down syndrome. Take a deep breath and relax. Now is the time for you to get to know your baby and love each other.