Down Syndrome

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In June of 2005, I was blessed with an 8# 5 oz baby boy we decided to name Dominic Adam.  The doctor’s confirmed, not long after Dom’s birth, that he had Down Syndrome.

Dominic is 11 years old and in the 6th grade. He is enrolled in a public middle school. Dominic takes part in both mainstream and special education classes. This past December, he participated in the Christmas band concert along with his peers. Dominic is learning to play the drums.

Dominic is a typical eleven year old boy. He is a human being just like you and I. He has emotions just like everyone else and has proven time and time again that people with Down Syndrome are not “always happy”. I have photographic documentation.

Dominic enjoys playing with his dogs, building forts, match box cars, radio controlled cars, hiking, playing video games, reading and currently loves playing with his Kindle Fire (that his amazing mother got him for Christmas).

He loves the Muppets.

Individuals with Down syndrome are becoming increasingly integrated into society and community organizations, such as school, health care systems, work forces, and social and recreational activities. Individuals with Down syndrome possess varying degrees of cognitive delays, from very mild to severe. Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate.

Due to advances in medical technology, individuals with Down syndrome are living longer than ever before. In 1910, children with Down syndrome were expected to survive to age nine. With the discovery of antibiotics, the average survival age increased to 19 or 20. Now, with recent advancements in clinical treatment, most particularly corrective heart surgeries, as many as 80% of adults with Down syndrome reach age 60, and many live even longer. More and more Americans are interacting with individuals with Down syndrome, increasing the need for widespread public education and acceptance.

Below is some more information on Down Syndrome courtesy of the National Down Syndrome Society. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

About Down Syndrome

One in every 691 babies in the the United States is born with Down syndrome, making Down syndrome the most common genetic condition. Approximately 400,000 Americans have Down syndrome and about 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born in the United States each year.

There are three types of Down syndrome:  trisomy 21 (nondisjunction), translocation and mosaicism.

Regardless of the type of Down syndrome a person may have, all people with Down syndrome have an extra, critical portion of chromosome 21 present in all or some of their cells.  This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.

The cause of the extra full or partial chromosome is still unknown. Maternal age is the only factor that has been linked to an increased chance of having a baby with Down syndrome resulting from nondisjunction or mosaicism.  However, due to higher birth rates in younger women, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under 35 years of age.

There is no definitive scientific research that indicates that Down syndrome is caused by environmental factors or the parents’ activities before or during pregnancy.

The additional partial or full copy of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome can originate from either the father or the mother. Approximately 5% of the cases have been traced to the father.

Down syndrome occurs in people of all races and economic levels, though older women have an increased chance of having a child with Down syndrome. A 35 year old woman has about a one in 350 chance of conceiving a child with Down syndrome, and this chance increases gradually to 1 in 100 by age 40. At age 45 the incidence becomes approximately 1 in 30. The age of the mother does not seem to be linked to the risk of translocation.