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Myths and Facts about Down syndrome

Dr. Reshmi Mohan A. Child Development Therapist ,SUT Hospital, Pattom

Down syndrome is a genetic condition caused by triplication of 21st chromosome, known as trisomy 21. John Langdon Down first described this syndrome.

Symptom of Down syndrome

  • Flattened face
  • Small head
  • Short neck
  • Protruding tongue
  • Upward slanting eyelid
  • Small hands and feet
  • Small white spots on the iris of the eye.

Causes of Down syndrome

Down syndrome is a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21

Can a child with Down syndrome live a normal life?

Most of them have mild to moderate learning disabilities and some may have complex. These children need special attention and support.

Diagnosis of Down syndrome

  • Through Chorionic villus sampling (VS) Test and Ultrasound.

These are primary procedure of diagnostic test. Ultrasound and blood test are done during 11 to 14 weeks (1st trimester) of pregnancy.

There are no preventive measures for Down syndrome as it is a genetic disorder. If you are at high risk of having a baby with Down syndrome or you already have a child with Down syndrome you may want to consult a genetic counsellor. They can help you understand your chances of having a baby with Down syndrome.


The multifaceted approach (i.e., Occupational therapist, Developmental therapist, Speech therapist, Physiotherapist, Paediatrician and, positive approach from family and friends) to help people with the disorder successfully make the transition from living with their families as children to living as independently as possible as adults.

Early Intervention Therapies also helps the Down syndrome child to lead better life in future. Children with Down syndrome should be given special attention and do not isolate them in public as well as at home. We observe World Down syndrome day on March 21st every year.