Essay on Down Syndrome : The Common Forms Of Genetic Birth Defects

Essay on Down Syndrome : The Common Forms Of Genetic Birth Defects

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Down Syndrome is one of the most common forms of genetic birth defects. Usually, children born with this condition have some degree of mental retardation, as well as characteristic physical features. Many of these children also have other health problems. Each year in the United States alone, approximately one in every 800 to 1,000 newborns has Down Syndrome. This equates to approximately 5,000 children born with Down Syndrome every year. In the United States today, Down Syndrome affects approximately 350,000 people. As many as 80% of adults with this condition reach age 55, however, many do live longer. There are three different forms of Down Syndrome, they are: Trisomy 21, Mosaicism, and Translocation. The most common of these three is Trisomy 21. About 95% of people with Down Syndrome have this. This type of Down Syndrome occurs because of an error in cell division. The error happens either before or at the time of conception when a pair of the 21st chromosomes either in the egg or the sperm do not separate properly. This extra chromosome is then found in every cell in the body, causing the characteristics of Down Syndrome. The second, Mosaicism form of Down syndrome occurs in approximately 1 to 2% of all people with Down Syndrome. In this type of Down Syndrome the error in separation of the 21st chromosome takes place in one of the first few cell divisions after fertilization. This event causes the fetus to have some cells with 46 chromosomes and some with 47. The cells with 47 chromosomes have one extra 21st chromosome. Because of the fact that not all cells contain the extra chromosome 21 the range of physical problems varies depending on the ratio of cells with 46 chromosomes to those with 47 chromosomes. The third f...


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...aughter I realized that no matter how glim the future may seem, my daughter will never give up hoping and she works very hard so that someday her son will be able to lead a satisfying and fulfilling, independent life. I believe, as our textbook states, in order for my grandson’s fullest potential to be realized, it is imperative that not only must we as family members but also teachers educate ourselves and be instructed in dealing with the many different issues that these exceptional children face, so that we and they are better equipped to help each individual student succeed to their fullest potential in the many different areas in life (Hardman, p.123).


Hardman, M., Drew, C., & Egan, M. (2014) Human Exceptionality: School, Community, and Family. (11th Edition). Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.
http://www.webmd.com/children/guide/understanding-down-syndrome-basics

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