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Down Syndrome Essay

4680 words - 19 pages

Down syndrome

Development Psychology

Down syndrome

Love a four letter word that many will take and throw around as though the word is a ball to be toyed with. One seeks to have someone say “I love you” no matter what their ability is as being mentally challenged or not. A parent does not love his or her child any less if he or she suffers an illness such as that of Down syndrome (DS). In order to completely understand how the love of a mother and father can be given to a child with such a disability, the individual needs to gain an understanding of what Down syndrome is. The reader of this paper will learn how Down syndrome got the name, what Down syndrome is, the case for ...view middle of the document...

Down working as “superintendent of an asylum for children with mental retardation in Surrey, England when he made the first distinction between children who were cretins (later to be found to have hypothyroidism) and what he referred to as “Mongoloids” reports Leshin (2003). The reason for Down to categorize these individuals as Mongoloids, as Down believed these children looked as though they were of Asian natives. After the statement has been made by Down this came as an insult to the Asian culture for which in the 1960’s Asian genetic researchers dropped the term from their scientific use. From this point forward beginning in the 1970’s this condition became known as what many call those with mild mental retardation of “Down Syndrome” after John Langdon Down. American’s created this term from the scientific terms where as in England this mental disorder is called “Down” reports Leshin (2003). However, John Langdon Down was not the main founder for the cause of Down syndrome as one may believe. Leshin states “the first people to speculate that it might be due to chromosomal abnormalities were Waardenburg and Bleyer in the 1930s” (2003). Even though Waardenburg and Bleyer had their suspicions of the mental disorder going beyond the physical features, “Jerome Lejeune and Patricia Jacobs, working independently, first determine the cause to be trisomy (triplication) of the 21st chromosome” which occurred in 1959 reports Leshin (2003).

By knowing that Down syndrome may also be called “trisomy 21” or “trisomy G” the cause of this extra genetic material being passed on to a child is still unknown to scientist today. Down syndrome “is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically” reports the Nemours foundation (2009). While scientists continue their studies and research on the reasons for why this occurs there seems to be no method of prevention for this occurrence within individuals passing this chromosome on. Any individual should know from learning in biology that “chromosomes are thread-like structures composed of DNA and other proteins. They are present in every cell of the body and carry the genetic information needed for that to cell to develop” provides Leshin (2009). As the reader may recall a human has 46 chromosomes which are arranged in 23 pairs. Of the 23 pairs, 22 of the chromosomes are identical in the male and female known as “autosomes.” The last pair that is not identical is the ones that help to determine what sex a person will be making these the sex chromosomes “X and Y.”

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) states, “three genetic variations can cause Down Syndrome” (2008). Among the many cases of Down syndrome, the main cause being 92% of the time due to the extra chromosome 21 that is passed onto the child. However, in about 2-4% of the cases of Down syndrome the cause is based upon the mosaic trisomy 21. The...

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