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About Down Syndrome

Down syndrome is a common condition caused by having “extra” copies of genes on the 21st chromosome.  Those extra genes change development during pregnancy, and they continue to have effects after birth and throughout a person’s life.  Each person with Down syndrome is unique, having some of the many possible health, learning, and related differences that can occur with this condition. 

Some of the differences in people with Down syndrome are common and visible, like the facial appearance.  Other changes are less common or less visible but can still cause problems or may need special treatments.  The “special treatments” may include medicines, surgeries, or changes in what you should expect.  There are no medicines or therapies that are needed by all people with Down syndrome.  There are also no medicines or therapies that can “cure” Down syndrome. 

Other issues can affect social and school success, which may not need doctors or other medical resources but are still important issues for children with Down syndrome.  Many people with Down syndrome understand more than they can say.  They may need help to communicate in other ways.  Most have good social skills, especially if they have friends with typical behavior as models.  Respect for and attention to their abilities are often important missing pieces and may be enough to make a big difference in performance and behavior. 

(Taken from the American Academy of Pediatrics) Full link here.

The UDSF Facebook Discussion Forum can be a very good place to learn about doctors, therapists, and other providers in our community. It may also be able to help with questions about daycare, preschools and schools, other local developmental programs, problems with behavior, help with child care, etc.